Only 39 percent of women were able to contribute more to their retirement funds compared to 51 percent of men.

2 minute read

Through the pandemic, men were more likely than women to put away money for retirement. A new study from Nationwide, an insurance company, found that 1 in 5 women say they won’t be able to retire when they planned because of the pandemic.

Women are expected to do most of the housework and childcare – even if their partner thinks they’re splitting the labor – forcing many to leave their jobs to take care of the home.

Compared to 47 percent of men, 50 percent of women (ages 55 to 66) have nothing put away for retirement, according to the Census.

“Working through the pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. This is particularly true for women, who are balancing child or eldercare challenges and career burnout,” said Amelia Dunlap, the vice president of Retirement Solutions Marketing at Nationwide.

Financial inequality between genders Men Women
Contribute to a 401(k) 58% 50%
Build an emergency fund 59% 47%
Increase contributions to retirement plans 51% 39%

And in 2021, 1 in 3 women reported that they thought about leaving their jobs or climbing down in their careers, compared to 1 in 4 in 2020.

According to the Brookings Institution, a non-profit research group, “COVID-19 is hard on women because the U.S. economy is hard on women, and this virus excels at taking existing tensions and ratcheting them up.”

Seventy percent of retirement plan sponsors say that the pandemic has financially impacted women more than it has men.

It’s no surprise that women were laid off more than men throughout the pandemic. Nearly half of working women are in low-wage jobs and they are also a big part of the service industry.

Women were also twice as likely to leave their jobs because they didn’t have access to childcare.

The Brookings Institute wrote, “We should aim higher – for an economy that compensates women fairly for their work, improves access to jobs through family-friendly policies, and supports women in their chosen roles as breadwinners, mothers, or some combination of the two.”

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About the Author

Gillian Manning

Gillian Manning

Gillian Manning graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2021 with her bachelor’s degree in journalism. At FAU she served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, the University Press. During her time there, the paper saw an increase in content production, readership, and engagement. Before she even graduated, Gillian was published in various outlets such as South Florida Gay News and the Boca Raton Tribune.

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