Woman holding up a dollar for man, representing financial wellness
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Gender Gap in Employee Financial Wellness Goes Far Beyond the Paycheck, Report Says

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted women’s employment more than men. New research shows that their overall financial well-being is also lagging behind. Origin, the employee financial wellness platform, released its inaugural State of Financial Health and Wealth Report. The report is a survey of 1,000 full-time U.S. employees. It dives deep into the financial behaviors and stressors of employees today. Origin’s survey found men are nearly two times more likely to be confident or very confident in their financial health than women (62 percent of male respondents versus 38 percent of female respondents).

Tracking women’s financial wellness

Women are 10 percent more likely than men to say their financial health is the same or worse than last year. The survey found women were less likely to put income away to build wealth. This indicates that gender gaps in financial wellness go far beyond the paycheck. Women were less likely to put disposable income in savings accounts, retirement accounts, cryptocurrency or brokerage/investment accounts. Women were also less likely to have ever consulted a financial planner.

“Origin believes every person deserves financial literacy and well-being, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation, and this data reinforces that expanding access to financial advice can directly improve financial confidence and help shrink these wealth gaps,” said Matt Watson, CEO and co-founder, Origin. “By offering financial planning services as part of their benefits package, employers have a unique opportunity to not only differentiate themselves from other companies in a hot talent market but to also do their part to mitigate the gender wealth gap, retirement crisis and overall financial stress within their teams, playing a vital role in reshaping the financial future for Americans.”

Are Gen X and Boomers ready for retirement?

Origin also found that employees inching toward retirement are also facing financial hurdles. Those over 45 were less likely to be financially confident than employees aged 22-45. Only 37 percent of respondents over 45 said they were confident or very confident in their financial health, versus over half of those aged 22-45. Despite being close to retirement, two-thirds of those over 45 had either never consulted a financial planner or only had once or twice ever in their lives.

“The company-sponsored 401k has become standard in employee benefits. Still, it’s clear that offering these plans isn’t sufficient in helping employees save enough and feel secure in retirement,” said Watson. “Companies seeking to assist employees with retirement planning should set up their employees for success earlier in life with financial wellness education, resources and advice so they can weather any storms for the long term and feel prepared to retire comfortably.”

Where do employees get financial advice?

Overall, a majority of employees don’t know where to turn for financial advice. More than 67 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that they want to make more informed investments with their money but don’t know how. Another 18 percent at least somewhat agree with that statement. The most popular sources for advice are search engines like Google, Bing, etc. (44 percent); news sources like TV, magazines or blogs (42 percent); or social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok (36 percent). Social media sources are not always trustworthy or transparent about conflicts of interest or paid sponsorships.

Nearly 93 percent of employees somewhat agree to strongly agree that they want their employers to offer increased access to financial planning and advisory services. However, only 28 percent of employers are currently providing it. In the midst of the “Great Reshuffle,” employers are looking for the most enticing compensation and benefits to attract and retain talent. Financial health benefits can win the battle for talent in the modern workplace.

“Employees have hit their breaking point when it comes to financial stress, and they’re looking to their employers for support,” said David Blaylock, CFP, lead financial planner at Origin. “So now is the time for companies to decide: are we going to support our workforce in a meaningful way? Or are we going to turn a blind eye to their situations?”

Survey results and more data from the report can be found here.

Methodology

This survey was conducted using the online survey platform Pollfish. The sample of 1,000 individuals in the United States was surveyed between November 2, 2021 and November 5, 2021. The margin of error is 3.16 percent and no additional weighting was done to the initial sample. Pollfish’s survey platform delivers online surveys globally through mobile apps and the mobile web along with the desktop web.

For more information on Origin’s employee financial wellness platform, visit http://www.useorigin.com.

About Origin

Origin was founded on the belief that financial planning should be accessible to everyone at every stage of life. Origin is the first comprehensive employee financial wellness platform for the modern workforce. Its integrated solution helps employees manage compensation, benefits, and personal finances in a single place. They can work side by side with financial professionals. Origin is the first platform that combines financial planners with cutting-edge financial technology that both educates employees and allows them to create, execute, and track their personalized financial plans. Origin’s team is led by repeat founders and is backed by leading VC firms and investors. With Origin, employees have on-demand access to their Origin planner. A video call or in-app chat conversation is one click away. For more information on Origin, visit http://www.useorigin.com.

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