Women in Tech
Women working in the financial sector have contributed £1.12 trillion over the last 26 years to the UK economy Christina Morillo/Unsplash

As early as 1870, Victoria Woodhull became the first female stockbroker and Muriel Siebert also referred to as the "first woman of finance", was the first woman to join the 1,365 male members of the stock exchange on 28 December 1967. She owned a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and was the first woman to head one of the NYSE's member firms.

Even after them, however, for a long time, women's involvement in this field was a rarity. This has changed very radically in recent years. The share of women among investors is increasing year by year and in Poland, the number of women studying economics has even exceeded the number of men.

According to the Centre of Economic & Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), women working in the financial sector have contributed to the UK economy in total value added and after accounting for inflation to the tune of £1.12 trillion over the last 26 years.

The gap between women and men that is reflected in social, political, intellectual, as well as cultural and economic outcomes and attitudes, also called the 'Gender Gap', creates a 68% gap in the financial market. The gap is calculated using an index that reflects the inequality in achievement between women and men.

Statistics from XTB group, which is an international provider of trading and investment products, services and technology solutions, suggest the percentage of women interested in financial markets has increased from 16 per cent in 2022. And although women are still in the minority, the statistics show a growing trend. This may be due to the greater independence of women, who are increasingly participating in activities that have historically been considered mainly a man's domain.

In 2018, Forbes claimed, in a response to a report by John Hancock's Twine Savings and Investing app that in terms of financial independence, millennial women need to take advantage of the opportunities they have today to grow their wealth, but they are poised to become the most financially independent generation in history.

An interesting figure for the number of women among investors in the financial market is the country. While large markets such as Germany and France are at the tail end of the ranking with less than 10 per cent of women, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia and the UK have an average share of 12.75 per cent of women among investors. The overall ranking is led by Romania, where women account for up to 26 per cent of investors.

Geography also plays a role in women's stock market decisions. According to the XTB group, women were most likely to buy in the US market and invest in BigTechs such as Tesla, Apple or Palantir Technologies. However, local companies such as CEZ in the Czech Republic, France's TechnipFMC or International Consolidated Airlines Group in Spain were not far behind.

Yet, female investors are in many cases defined by the stereotypes that have been created around them over the years of their presence on the market. Women are stereotypically more willing to take risks than men because the willingness to take risks is associated with masculine characteristics and is driven by testosterone. Women have thus suffered from the negative and biased label of being indifferent to risks.

The difference between female and male investors is presented by other facts. In terms of age, female investors, with an average age of 37, are two years older than male investors. The difference also lies in the way they invest. While up to 59 per cent of women invest via computer, their male counterparts prefer a mobile device.

"Women are naturally more cautious, they need more information to make decisions. Women take more time to make an investment decision. Making transactions through the desktop application creates a sense of greater control and security over your finances," stated Dr Anna Szczepańska-Przekota from the Koszalin University of Technology.

The potential for the rise of women in financial markets is great and has been moving in a good direction in recent years. In doing so, women and their investment decisions are not significantly different from what can be observed for men. And for that, this upward trend only needs to be sustained. After all, the financial industry is far from being a male-only industry.