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50% of girls lack financial confidence

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Closing the gender pay gap is something that women are working tirelessly to achieve, but it turns out the issue begins much earlier in life than we thought.

A study has revealed that 48% of 11-18 year old UK women are not financially confident. The lack of confidence felt by girls, which is 10% lower than boys, is leaving them ill prepared for the financial inequalities they may face later in life.

Girls lacked assurance in all areas, falling behind boys in confidence of borrowing by 23%, banking by 20% and insurance by 14%.

The most shocking data is the young age at which the pay gap starts, with boys aged 8 receiving 13% extra pocket money per week than girls the same age. This grows to 18% in adulthood. Young women are the most bankrupt prone part of society, possibly due to a lack of financial education as only 36% of girls in the UK receive any kind of financial education in school, whereas 45% of boys do.

In the survey results, young women showed the most improvement after expert-led money lessons, which emphasises that there is no reason why there should still be a confidence or pay gap, provided the right education is available.

These telling statistics highlight why it is important to address the problem early, as money lessons are a very limited part of the national curriculum, with some institutions not inclined to teach it at all.

Guy Ridgen, CEO of MyBnk, said, “When it comes to a basic life skill, money management, we have identified a worrying early indicator of divergence in the life chances of young women compared to young men”.

He continued: “This study also reveals the huge potential of young people when they are engaged with money and are motivated to act, which also affects attitudes and behaviours”.

He also noted that education is essential in order to give young people equal financial opportunities; “Prevention is always cheaper than the cure and we are calling on education departments, financial services and corporates to back what works in our classrooms to help dodge debt and level the playing field for young people. Funding is tight and it is becoming harder to deliver frontline projects like ours which help narrow the inequality gap”.

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