Women in the finance industry are growing – ACCA initiative and StashAway findings show much more needs to be done

The number of women in the fintech space has grown over the past year, and while that’s an achievement, there’s still a lot to be done to make sure it’s not only a fading trend, but an ongoing change that helps diversify and make the financial industry more inclusive.

Seeking to highlight some of the good things women are doing in MEA, while highlighting how they can be further empowered, the Women in Finance initiative was launched by TO THATAssociation of Chartered Accountants of the Middle East.

More encouraging news came from StashAway as the company announces less than a year after its launch, almost half of its customers identify as women.

ACCA launches Women in Finance initiative to support women in the Middle East

TO THATAssociation of Chartered Accountants of the Middle East, has launched Women In Finance, its year-long initiative to support, empower and empower women in the financial sector in the Middle East.

Women in Finance is a strategic and focused project that aims to address career issues and challenges faced by women at every stage of their careers, through a curated series of events, resources, mentorship and initiatives networking over the next 12 months.

Only eight percent of CEOs worldwide are women, and only three percent of financial services CEOs are women. Women In Finance kicks off with a ‘Lessons from Business Legends’ networking event on June 16, featuring leading figures from the worlds of business and finance.

Keynote speakers include Helene BrandCEO of ACCA, and Cynthia Corbypartner, COO and leader of transformation and strategy at Deloitte. Joining the ACCA Regional Manager, Fazeela Gopalaniwill be: David Mackenzie of Mackenzie Jones Middle East, Racha Al KhawajaCEO of TPL investment management, Sat Achampongregional manager of CIPS Middle East and Adam AshcroftCEO of Coach Advantage.

“We recognize that much more needs to be done to ensure that the number of women entering the financial profession continues to grow,” says Fazeela Gopalani, ACCA’s Middle East manager. “Women In Finance is part of our ongoing efforts to support this. While the number of women in finance is growing in the region, it still falls far short of equal representation. ACCA’s goals align with the UAE’s vision for gender parity and highlight its remarkable achievement as one of the few countries in the world with an equal number of men and women in his cabinet.

The 2022 StashAway Insights Report Shows Encouraging Signs, But There’s Still More to Do

StashAway is making rapid progress in closing the investment gender gap. Customers who identify as women now make up 40% of StashAway’s new customer base in the Middle East, up from 16% since its launch in November. Compare that to Singapore, which took five years to achieve gender parity with 17% female investors at launch.

The conclusion comes from the company’s annual report, Previews StashAway 2022which gathers data on the investment behavior of its clientele in the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Key findings from the report also revealed that:

  • Women tend to choose low-risk portfolios compared to men. While low-risk investments may experience less short-term volatility than high-risk portfolios, over the long term they are less likely to produce greater financial rewards.
  • Women verify their investments 1.5 times less than men, making them more regular investors. Data from StashAway shows that those who frequently check their investments are more likely to react impulsively to short-term market volatility. This can often cause investors to withdraw their funds from the markets prematurely.
  • Women are more likely to stay invested over the long term. Staying invested for the long term helps investors reap compound returns and benefit from long-term market growth.
  • However, although women tend to engage in consistent, long-term investing behaviors, not enough of them invest. Nearly 60% of women are not engaged in investing or planning for retirement, and 58% entrust their long-term financial planning to their partner.

Nandini Joshi, Chief Operating Officer, says, “It is imperative that women take charge of their financial well-being, as they are more likely to live longer and take time off work to care for their families. Closing the investment gap between men and women is one of the most effective ways to improve wealth equity. StashAway strives to achieve this by providing everyone with access to high quality, affordable and intuitive wealth management.

Ramzi KhleifManaging Director, StashAway MENA adds: “The results of Previews StashAway 2022 are very encouraging for investors in the Middle East – but this is just the beginning. That’s why we continue to focus on providing free financial education. We achieve this in particular through She Invests, our targeted initiative for women, which covers topics ranging from personal finance and investment basics to crypto and NFTs.

  • Francis Bignel

    Francis is a junior journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialized interest in North and South America.

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