An all-star line-up shares their own stories of money, power and resilience. Watch the replay above, featuring: Billie Jean King, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, sports icon and equality champion; Lisa Leslie, 3-time WNBA MVP, 4-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Hall of Famer; Paula Polito, financial industry leader, Divisional Vice Chairwoman of UBS Global Wealth Management and author of the Own your worth report; Tina Brown, award-winning journalist and editor; Paulina Porizkova, model and author; Elaine Welteroth, The New York Times best-selling author, award-winning journalist, former Teen Vouge Editor-in-Chief and Judge on the new Project Runway; and Dr. Jill Yavorsky, University of North Carolina sociologist focusing on gender and finance.
In 2018, UBS embarked on a groundbreaking study of US women. It started with the recognition of two major trends impacting women: increasing life expectancy and the rise of “gray” divorce. This meant that, at some point in their lives, 8 in 10 women will end up alone and solely responsible for their financial well-being.1
When we spoke to women living this reality—widows and divorcees who were financially responsible not just for themselves but for children, loved ones, even family businesses—we uncovered a deep well of regret. 98% of widows and divorcees urged other women to participate in long-term decisions early on.2
So we wondered … were women heeding their advice? In this age of #metoo, women’s empowerment and progress toward greater equality, were things actually changing? In short, not enough.
The behavior persists even though the majority of women—and men—believe equal financial participation is necessary for true gender equality. But there are signs that women are ready to own their worth.
"I let my spouse take the lead."
"We participate equally."
"I take the lead."
- 46% Advanced degree
- 50% College
- 60% High school
- 41% Primary
- 45% Equal
- 62% Secondary
- 54% Millennials
- 53% Gen X
- 39% Boomers
of women want to protect their family more than ever before
intend to discuss finances with their spouse
intend to discuss their financial plan, portfolio and will with their spouse
Will women follow through on their intentions? Or will they continue the status quo?
Much depends on the willingness of not only women, but men as well. If men help the women they care about feel encouraged, empowered and welcome—and women commit to participating—then both can make wise decisions. With the lessons of the pandemic fresh in their minds, women have set their intentions.
Now it’s time for women to act.