Women and money statistics: what is the relationship between money and women in the modern world?

1 min readLast updated April 16, 2024by Unbiased team

Women's financial power grows every year, signifying a shift in the power dynamics between women and money worldwide.


  • Women earn $0.82 less than men for every dollar they make.  

  • Women were only allowed to open credit cards and apply for loans 16 years after men.  

  • More women are investing than ever before, and their investments are currently outperforming that of their male counterparts.  

  • Learning about the challenges faced by women in the economic system empowers them to fight for progress and continue growing their financial power. 

Statistics on women and money 

In 2022, Bank of America announced findings from a new body of research on women and financial wellness. The study found that 94% of women believe they will be personally responsible for their finances at some point in their adult lives.  

Despite this, about half of women (48%) feel confident about their finances, and only 28% feel empowered to take action. However, the gender-enforced wage gap remains a struggle, with US women earning about $0.82 for every dollar a man earns.  

As of 2024, the labor force participation rate for US women with children under 18 years of age is 72.5%.  

When it comes to childcare, women tend to face more financial challenges than their male counterparts. This can be seen in the fact that 70% of US mothers can expect to be primary financial providers before their children turn 18, despite reaching their peak earnings at age 44 - whereas men keep climbing for much longer and reach their peak earnings at 55.  

What is the history of women and money? 

Historically, money and women have been controversial topics, as women have always been at a financial disadvantage compared to the opposite sex.  

For example, women couldn’t get their own credit cards or apply for loans until 1974, 16 years after men were given access to this financial privilege in 1958.  

In 1980, only 13% of married women earned more than or about as much as their husbands. By 2000, the share had risen to 25%.  

Major global economic shifts also tend to disproportionately affect women, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a 4.2% drop in their employment between 2019 and 2020 versus a 3% drop in employment for men.  

How are women in the business industry growing and investing? 

Despite the rocky historical dynamic between women and money, women in the business industry are gaining financial and corporate momentum yearly.  

In 2024, 42% of all U.S. businesses are women-owned, with women’s labor contributing $7.6 trillion to the nation’s GDP each year. Additionally, around 60% of women invest in the stock market and 68% save for retirement.  

In 2020, almost 60% of women in the United States were solely responsible for making investment decisions. Crucially, according to investment management company State Street Global Advisors, around 40% of women who invest also out-earn their husbands.  

In addition, in 2022, women held 32% of S&P Fortune 500 company board seats. This signifies massive growth and positive change for women in and outside of the business industry.  

Where do women stand with purchase power in the modern economy? 

Purchase power is defined as the financial capacity to spend money on goods and services.  

In the past, women’s purchasing power was low. But today’s purchasing power statistics show that they control the market.  

Forbes has revealed that women comprise more than half of the US population and influence 85% of consumer spending.  

This is likely due to the fact that American women tend to shop more than men (and advertisements are often targeted at women), with 39.4% of women shopping on any given day compared to 33.7% of men.  

For instance, women purchase over 50% of traditional male products, including automobiles, home improvement products, and consumer electronics, and 78% of women say they make the purchasing decisions for their household.  

91% of women are responsible for buying new homes, and 70% of travel decisions and payments fall under their wallet choices, making their purchase power wholly dominant in the US. 

What is the future for women in the financial world? 

By 2030, American women are expected to control much of the $30 trillion in financial assets that baby boomers will possess - a potential wealth transfer of such magnitude that it will approach the US annual GDP.  

In general, a higher percentage of women are interested in ESG investing than men, says CFP Cathy Curtis, CEO of Curtis Financial Planning. A Calvert/Investment News study showed that usage of ESG funds is up 25% year over year, and the trend of ESG investing is more pronounced in women, with 53% doing so currently.  

Financial analysts predict that women’s financial power and presence within the investment industry and greater economic system will only grow larger over time.  

Get expert financial advice 

Women and money have not always shared a healthy dynamic, but times are changing, and progress is being made. With women gaining more purchase power every year and showing significantly more interest in future-oriented investment strategies than men, the financial discrepancies between the sexes appear to be shrinking.  

To learn more about investing, financial planning and key financial trends for women, it's best to seek the expert advice of a financial advisor.  

Unbiased can match you with the best financial advisor for your needs. 

Find a financial advisor today.  


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.