Gender gap on financial literacy closingNews added by Benefits Pro on June 27, 2014

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By Nick Thornton

The gender gap in financial literacy is closing, but nonetheless remains significant, according to a study by Financial Finesse.

The financial education firm’s study suggests that much of women’s improved literacy is owed to their willingness to access financial wellness programs, in the workplace or otherwise. In 2013, 63 percent of all financial wellness program users were women, it said.

Despite the willingness to educate themselves, when it comes to investing and cash management, only one-third of women felt confident about how to allocate their assets, whereas half of men felt in control of their allocation selections, Financial Finesse said.

Women’s perception of their general investing knowledge lags behind men’s: 66 percent of women say they have a general knowledge, compared to 85 percent of men.

A similar gap exists on the matter of cash flow: 63 percent of women are confident in how to handle cash. Only 47 percent say they have an emergency fund.

While women making between $60,000 and $100,000 have closed the gap with their male counterparts in the same segment, lower-income female earners saw the disparity widen.

Liz Davidson, CEO and founder of Financial Finesse, said she was encouraged by some of the results from this year’s survey, but notes that more improvement is needed, given that women on average earn less than men and live longer, and will have to make their savings last through retirement.

“I think society is beginning to realize the severity of the challenges women face in achieving long-term financial security, but they are still so significant that women have to do even more in order to overcome them,” she said.

Employers may be the key to bridging the financial literacy gap. A recent AON Hewitt study found that more than 75 percent of surveyed companies plan to implement or expand their financial education program.

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