9 in 10 Women Feel Unprepared for a Recession: Ellevest Survey

9 in 10 Women Feel Unprepared for a Recession: Ellevest Survey

What You Need to Know

A recent survey suggests women’s financial health is the worst it has been in the past five years,
Women’s top financial priority was supporting their family, while men prioritized saving for retirement.
Wealthy women are not exempt when it comes to feeling financial stress.

Women’s financial health is currently in a bad place, according to new research from Ellevest, a wealthtech firm aimed at women.

Money is women’s chief source of stress, according to the findings. Fifty-nine percent of women say they worry about money more than once a week, and 43% worry about it at least once a day, compared with 53% and 36% of men who have similar anxiety. Only 14% of women say they feel prepared for a recession.

The typical woman’s financial health is the worst it has been in the past five years, according to Ellevest’s head data scientist, Kate Sullivan. It worsened during the pandemic — primarily because of employment levels — but rebounded relatively quickly as the labor market recovered and access to paid family leave began to expand.

“Since then, however, it’s been driven further down, as high inflation impacts her spending power and the overturning of Roe v. Wade clouds her economic future,” Sullivan said. “No wonder consumer confidence has been falling, even as women return to the workforce.”

The research findings are based on data from Ellevest’s new women’s financial health index and from its second annual financial wellness survey.

“Our goal is to comprehensively capture the state of women’s financial health, through both survey insights and quantifiable data,” the firm’s chief executive and co-founder Sallie Krawcheck said in a statement.

“The truth is that it’s difficult to change what you don’t measure. This work places gender-based financial inequities squarely in focus, as well as shows a path forward.”

The index is constructed from several quantifiable factors that affect women’s financial health, including the gender pay gap, inflation, student loan debt, paid family leave, reproductive rights, women in leadership, consumer confidence and student loan debt. It also includes proprietary insights from Ellevest’s business, including trends in recurring deposits by women and share of investments going into impact investing.