Wells Fargo Younger Women Are Increasingly Earning the Title of “Breadwinner”
Women’s contributions to their family’s finances are growing, according to a new Wells Fargo study released today in conjunction with International Women’s Day.
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Wells Fargo Recognizes International Women’s Day (Photo: Wells Fargo)
The study polled 2,195 women in households with $250,000 or more in assets or $100,000 or more in income about how they are feeling, responding to, and leading through uncertainty and change. Despite the challenges presented during the COVID-19 pandemic, women’s contributions to the family pocketbook are growing.
Over half (54%) of all partnered women reported greater or equal earnings to their spouse. And nearly one-third (32%) of millennial and Gen X women reported being the primary breadwinner — one and a half times higher than women from the boomer and traditionalists (20%). Additionally, half of millennial and Gen X women (51%) stated they lead the household finances as compared to only 40% of women in the baby boomer and traditionalists.
“The economic recovery from COVID-19 will be heavily influenced by women as the next generation continues to increase their earnings potential,” said Veronica Willis, investment strategy analyst with the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
Still, younger women cite increased barriers to developing financial skills
Women in younger generations see more barriers in developing their financial skills. More than a third of millennial and Gen X women said they find financial concepts intimidating (39%) and did not learn enough about finances while growing up (34%). While one-in-five millennial and Gen X women (21%) said they do not have enough time to devote to building financial skills, as compared to only 6% of baby boomer and traditionalists women.
Two-thirds (68%) of millennial and Gen X women said they get extremely anxious when there is a lot of uncertainty, as compared to only 49% of baby boomer and traditionalists women. For almost a third of millennial and Gen X women, financial uncertainty has kept them up at night according to the survey.
“The financial anxiety experienced by the younger generation during times of economic uncertainty is likely a direct reflection of their relative inexperience getting through financial hardship,” said Nancy Amick, senior family dynamics consultant with the Advice Center within Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management. “Prior generations have the benefit of past experience. Many of these women have weathered turbulent markets and uncertain economic environments.”