Women are Canada’s household CFOs

March 8, 2012 | Last updated on March 8, 2012
2 min read

The majority of Canadian women (82%) are the primary decision-maker, or have equal responsibility, for household financial decisions, according to a study released today by BMO Nesbitt Burns in honour International Women’s Day today.

However, despite the influence women currently have over household finances, the study also found that only 30% of women feel that the financial services industry is adequately servicing their unique investor needs.

In addition, almost 40% of women feel that their particular standpoint on financial matters is not taken as seriously as men’s view and opinions.

“As an industry, we need to do a better job of recognizing the key differences between men and women when it comes to managing their wealth and [we must] acknowledge that women tend to make decisions differently than men,” said Charyl Galpin, executive vice-president of BMO Nesbitt Burns’ private client division. “We need to include women more in financial conversations [and offer] relevant communication regarding product and service offerings.”

Galpin notes that women, while overlooked by the financial industry, often act as “chief financial officer” of their families and take the lead on household financial decisions such as budgeting and how to manage the education savings for children.

The study also found that 61% of women want their investment advisors to provide more detailed information on how they can better manage their family’s wealth, and that 33% have different wealth management needs than men and should be given more appropriate advice.

To cultivate a diverse talent pool of investment advisors that can serve the needs of all families, the bank has organized several initiatives promoting client education including starting a family wealth campaign to teach families about topics that impact their wealth, as well as being an active member of Women in Capital Markets.

Several other institutions have also paid tribute to women on the 101st anniversary of International Women’s Day: Desjardins announced that over 200 women received $520,000 in scholarships and grants in 2011; RBC joined Catalyst in their fight to place more female directors on corporate boards in Canada; and Scotiabank, along with donating to Toronto’s WoodGreen Foundation to help single mothers, sponsored the official UN website dedicated to the anniversary.