10 March 2021
Author: The Future Laboratory
There are numerous challenges facing women when it comes to funding and financial empowerment. The amount of capital investment received by female- led businesses varies across markets, but the overall picture makes for worrying reading.
: Attitudes and outdated beliefs
Attitudes towards women and conscious and unconscious biases are major barriers for female entrepreneurs seeking funding. Expectations around caregiving and gendered perceptions around financial management are diminishing women’s confidence and affecting decision-making.
: Closed networks
The lack of women in VC funding and financial advisory positions is leading to a culture of closed ecosystems. In addition, it means that even when women do gain access to networks, they are often misrepresented and generally underserved.
: Language barriers
The very language used by investors, finance professionals and the media is holding women back from reaching their full wealth potential. Bias runs so deep that not only are women entrepreneurs asked different questions than their male peers, they also answer differently.
With women becoming more prominent wealth-holders, societal and financial structures are beginning to evolve in response. New generations of women will drive investment trends around risk, purpose, resilience, legacy and education. Over the coming decade, we’ll see increased inclusion at leadership level, leading to diversity of thought and innovation.
Some of these emerging trends include:
: Resilience realised
COVID-19 has highlighted, once again, the need for economic, social and personal resilience. The UN has highlighted how vital the female population is to global recovery, saying that “intentional expansion of fiscal space that recognizes and invests in women’s specific priorities must be central to the design of recovery packages.”
: Reframing risk
Risk is being re-evaluated and reframed – for example, from short- and medium-term financial risks toward long-term life goals, as well as emphasizing the importance of moving from saving to investing, in order to sustain quality of life in old age. Financing for longevity is highly relevant for women, due to longer life expectancy than men.
: Legacy learning
Financial education needs to begin at an early age, especially for girls, who often lack financial confidence as adults. This is not just about fitting into a male-led world or matching male agendas, but also about forging new paths for wealth that are focused on sustainable growth.
Discover our Resilience Culture macrotrend on LS:N Global – a look at a future shift from self-censorship and social comfort zones to a countermovement of resilience.
By 2030, there will be more women in positions of leadership. These female leaders will be moving further toward parity with their male peers, they’ll feel confident and empowered, and they will put purpose at the heart of their investments.
In the 2020s, women’s wealth and power will continue to grow at the fastest rate ever. With this growth comes the promise of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. However, there are still major barriers facing women entrepreneurs and investors, and these must be overcome in order to reduce the disturbing prediction that it will take over 250 years to reach gender pay parity.
The journey will be one of challenges, matched by optimism, buoyancy and resilience. Through systemic transformation of education, politics, healthcare and economics, a new generation of women will be empowered to take control of their futures. In this report, we outline how to take the crucial next steps to usher in a new era of women’s wealth defined by parity, power and purpose.
Download the full report to unlock the Toolkit 2030.
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