The world of finance began as a place where only men had the right to a seat at the table, while some women stood on their toes and others watched from the sidelines. Time has changed, thanks to a century-long struggle for women’s rights and their active struggle for a more prominent position in  society. However, the financial market still remains dominated by men, with only a handful of women present.

The closing financial gender gap in Nigeria

Even though women are generally under-represented in the financial sector, western countries and even some African countries can boast of a decrease in the financial inclusion gender gap, while Nigeria seems to be experiencing a decline.

Studies have shown that in recent times, unlike their Nigerian counterparts, African women in Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania have started to actively engage in finance and wealth management, thereby increasing the inclusivity of women in finance.

Based on the gender financial inclusion assessment carried out by the CBN in 2019, 60% of women struggle with economic hardship, low income, poor financial education, and low trust in financial institutions. These challenges stand out as the most significant factors contributing to the large financial gender gap in Nigeria.

But let us be honest, the financial gender gap is way better than it was a decade ago. With the representation of women in the financial industry to women making personal financial decisions such as investment and wealth management, the gender gap seems to have slightly dropped. This improvement is a result of the emergence of the fintech space. Technological advancement in finance saw the rise of more women, particularly the millennials and Gen z’s engaging in personal finance and investment activities.

Gender equality and fintech: how technology is driving progress and empowering women

It is no surprise that the International Women’s Day Theme revolves around Technology – DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. The UN, like the financial experts, believes that Technology will help close the financial gender gap.

To attack the underlying factors that perpetuate gender inequality, the UN has drawn attention to the economic loss caused by excluding women and girls from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers and urged institutions and individuals to promote equity.

Regardless, women have shown strength and perseverance when it comes to wealth and investment. Today, women have altered the investment structure not only in Nigeria but in the world in a remarkable way. In 2022, MTN Nigeria reported, concerning its initial public offer, that 85 per cent of successful applicants were under the age of 40 and that 76 per cent of those who were accepted, were women. The rise in women’s participation in investment has resulted in the rise of the global share of wealth for women. Wealth managers Courts reported that women’s income increased from $20 trillion in 2018 to $24 trillion in 2020.

These statistics are astonishing, given the weight of gender disparity plaguing women.

In its 2021 research to gather insight into women’s attitudes and behaviours regarding investment, Fidelity Investment found that 64 per cent of women would like to be more active in their finances and investment decisions. An interesting note is that 65 per cent would be more likely to invest more if they simply had clear steps to take.

BNY Mellon’s survey of female investors also found that they were more likely to make investments that benefit society and the environment, and an eToro global survey from 2022 found that 48 per cent of 9,500 female investors were new to the markets in the past two years. 

What is clear from the above is that more women are taking more seats at the investment table.

The role of Forex market in helping women start investing

The Forex market is a fascinating space many women seem to be overlooking. It is surprising that women only represent 8.5% of all traders in the world, with 91.5% being men. Given several social and cultural factors that limit women from building wealth, the Forex market with its various trading strategies offers women the unique opportunity to earn a stable and predictable source of income and plan for a long time. 

Forex is also a level playing ground with a low entry barrier – Working moms, young women, students, women from high unemployment regions, or any woman willing to pursue financial independence can benefit from investing and trading from the comfort of their home. Most forex trading platforms, with their simplified trading apps, provide large resources of free and high-quality educational materials to beginners. And it is easy to start trading without a significant amount of capital because of its lower transaction costs.

Furthermore, a promising 2023 market outlook should encourage more women to invest in Forex. Compared to last year, US core inflation will slow down from 5% now to 3% at the end of 2023, and industries like the energy and health sectors are looking to have a great year. Furthermore, a durable downshift in US market yields later this year may enable emerging market central banks with solid buffers to see their currencies hold steady and even rise modestly. 

Here is an intriguing fact—women traders tend to be more successful than men. XTB trading data indicates men make over nine times more trades than women, with a 90.3% to 9.7% split in favour of male investors. However, despite making fewer trades, women have a higher success rate in making profitable stock and forex trades than men. 

It seems women are taking advantage of gender biases that have limited them in the past to navigate the financial world with intelligence. A good example is how women have been tagged risk averse because they tend to be extra cautious and analytical about potential investments. But this means women are more patient in discovering trading strategies that will help them trade efficiently. On the other hand, male investors tend to have riskier trading habits that plunge them into the unknown and potentially increase their losses.

Women are also more likely to collaborate with other investors and are willing to gain relevant knowledge about their potential investments before taking action. It is obvious that despite their limitations, women want to feel competent and skilled in their investment decisions. And Forex is a legitimate marketplace where simple management tools will protect your funds, and basic trading psychology will help you remain confident in your trading activities.

Now, the questions that beckon are: How can women start making the most of their money in 2023 with Forex? How do we introduce them to the Forex market?

Since no one knows about investment until they learn:

Get an investment expert to explain the basics to you. The majority of women who have not begun their journey in investing have certainly delayed because they want to be clear about the risk and rewards associated with investment decisions. On currency trading, Blessing Ezeako, one of Nigeria’s top richest forex traders revealed that education is a major factor in her trading experience.

“Do It Yourself ” is equally a good step to take when investing—taking baby steps with one or two investments to start building your portfolio.

Whether you are just beginning or you are ready to take your investment to the next level, you should ensure your investing space is safe. This means you should get a reliable investment platform where safety is not compromised. For such platforms, OctaFX will be a choice arrangement. Their regular webinars, educational articles, and live trading sessions will build the confidence you need to make your investment decision. Because of its high-quality service and excellent trading conditions, OctaFX currently serves 22 million account holders.

It is certain that with more awareness of gender equality and equity, women’s share of world wealth has increased, and more women are seeking to either embark on an investment journey or take their journey to the next level. The Forex marketplace remains an equitable, inclusive space that will enable more women to thrive in the financial world and help bridge the financial gender gap.      

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