The problems facing women in the UK today
It's not easy being a woman today, and if you're reading this thinking - finally! someone has recognised the fact that women disproportionately bear the risk of many things in society, then we hear you.
A recent report Insuring Women's Futures by the Chartered Institute of Insurance highlights 12....yes that's TWELVE!...perils and pitfalls that means being a women makes you just so much more vulnerable in a number areas of life.
From growing up, studying and requalifying, to entering and re-entering the workplace. From making and breaking up relationships, to motherhood and being a carer. The problems facing women today don't end there - they go on to include later life, planning and entering retirement, and then infertility, ill-health and dying.
The report analysed risk faced by women throughout life and found that women were pushing water uphill with a fork repeatedly across the world of work, modern families, future wellness and financial futures.
This needs to change.
Today we wanted to highlight some of the problems facing women in the UK today which we thought would resonate with you most.
Women not feeling confident enough about their finances
Only 37% of women feel very confident managing their money, compared with 48% of men. Moreover, 52% of women say they do not understand enough to make decisions about retirement savings, compared with 38% of men.
Pay and job security
The average gross pay for men in full-time work in 2016 was 9.4% higher than women’s - it escalates in part time work, at 18.1%. And what about job security? Well again, the news isn't great. Women make up the majority of administrative and secretarial employees which are at higher risk of being made redundant through automation - a workforce trend which sadly can't be ignored.
Flexible work and sacrifice
Can women really have it all? Women continue to bear the brunt of domestic tasks, despite changing attitudes to women and work. To try and juggle everything, 61% of returning mothers opt to work part time, which has a huge impact on women’s earnings and career progression - and let's not forget their stress levels too. If you’re thinking it sounds like most women could do with their own virtual assistant to help juggle all of this, then you would be right!
The female health crisis
Hands up who reading this thinks they are pretty health conscious? Although you won't be alone in thinking that women are more health conscious today, the sad news is that they are increasingly exposed to health risk through diet and obesity, as well as suffering rising levels of mental ill–health throughout their lives. When it comes to women's health, it just can't be taken for granted.
The cohabitation trend
While cohabitation may be in and marriage out (nearly a quarter of 30-34 year olds cohabit), 35% of people mistakenly believe cohabiting couples have the same rights as married couples in the event of break ups - which sadly they don't. This leaves women with children vulnerable without the safety net of the marriage.
Living longer - but at what cost?
We all know that women live longer than men (average life expectancy 83.1 years, 79.5 for men), but did you know they also experience more years in ill-health (19 years for women, 16 years for men)? Women are increasingly likely to need home help towards the ends of their lives, and in addition, old age care. With the need to self-fund this looking likely to increase due to rising care costs, where will leave women financially in their latter years?
Of course, the report also highlights other areas of concern such as separation and divorce setback, women's pension deficit and more.
So while in many ways the future may be big, bright and female; it can only be if the above problems facing women are taken seriously.
Thankfully, there is so much that can be done to help women handle whatever may be round the corner for them. Whether it be taking out health care insurance, life insurance, critical illness or income protection - there has never been a better or brighter time for women to secure and protect their own futures. Contact Nick Blanchard at Contego Life today to help you find the right cover.