If you’re reading this now – and knowing that most of my lovely readers are women (although not exclusively I know), you will be acutely aware that being a woman these days can be a very tough gig. When it comes to the challenges women face today – know this, they are very real and most certainly not a figment of our imaginations.
The challenges women face today deserve a deep dive look, and that’s why I’ve teamed up with the lovely Nick Blanchard at Contego Life, quite possibly one of the friendliest, approachable and truthful insurance agents I know, to shout loud about the challenges women face today.
The Chartered Insurance Institute recently launched a report which focused on insuring women’s futures. Although we have come such a long way as women, it’s clear from the report – and also from what I personally know to be true – that as women we also have a long way to go. Here are some of the biggest challenges women face today:
Our relationship with money
When it comes to confidence in managing our money, there is still a huge gender gap. In the report, only 37% of women aged surveyed 18-24 feel very confident managing their money, compared with 48% of men. Over half of women surveyed say they do not understand enough to make decisions about retirement savings, compared with 38% of men.
I have to admit, this is something I can really relate to. When it comes to financial risk taking, it all just makes me feel pretty anxious!
Our role as carers & the flexible work struggle
As women, we take on the majority of caring responsibilities for
children as well as elderly relatives which compromises our earning potential and financial security.
And then there’s the whole issue of flexible work. Although flexible work has become a bit of a buzz word of late, as far as I’m concerned, there is still a LOT more that needs to be done. I am sure many of you reading this know that as women, sure – we may be going back out to work but we also continue to bear the brunt of domestic tasks and family admin – women still do twice as much housework and childcare as men (36 hours per week).
Despite changing attitudes to women and work, with 43% of people believing mothers should work part time. 61% of returning mothers opt to work part time, although this has a huge impact on women’s earnings and career progression (part time women earn 30% less per hour than full time) impacting savings and pensions provision.
The women’s health crisis
I personally, have struggled with some pretty major health battles and it pains me to see that even though women are more health conscious today than they have ever been before, they are increasingly exposed to health risk through diet and obesity, as well as suffering rising levels of mental illness – 53% women in their 30s and 40s have suffered mental health conditions.
With women being less financially resilient and with relatively little savings cushion (worryingly, a third of women in their 30s say their money would not last a month if they lost their main source of income), meaning they are more vulnerable to themselves, their partners or family members becoming ill.
The cohabiting pitfall
This is one I am very guilty of. We are not married – but cohabiting. We are part of the trend of increasing rates of cohabiting (nearly a quarter of 30-34 year olds do). Over a third of people mistakenly believe cohabiting couples have the same rights as married couples in the event of break ups.
I know we do not, however I find the prospect of marriage very unappealing. I know this leaves me at risk as a woman and mum, yet regardless I still remain part of the doubling in number of cohabiting families over the last two decades. This leads me on nicely to….
Divorce and separation
If you have been divorced or separated before, you will know that divorce and separation can have a significant short and long term impact on not only women’s health and well being but also earnings potential and savings. 1 in 3 married people divorce by their 15th anniversary, 65% of divorced women have experienced mental health issues and 45% are in debt. Moreover, 86% of lone parent families are headed by women, making it harder for women to return to work and climb back up the career ladder.
As someone who has struggled with many of the challenges women face today – especially on the health front – one thing I know is that we simply can not take any of the above for granted as women. To begin with, I can not tell you much I wished I had taken out health care insurance to at the very least help protect me from the health curve-balls life has thrown me as a woman.
What are your thoughts on the challenges women face today and how do you go about protecting yourself from them? Do leave a comment and share.
To find out more about enjoying protection and peace of mind for you and your loves ones – whether it be life insurance, health insurance, critical illness or income protection – contact Nick Blanchard at Contego Life today to help you find the right cover.
And now for the exciting bit! To help keep you on the right health track we are giving away a Garmin Vivo Smart 4 worth £120 over on our giveaways page.
*This is a collaborative post