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Historically men know more, but millennial women are changing the game.

2 minute read reports on the differences between men and women’s financial knowledge frequently. For the first time in months, a study says women beat men in a financial literacy quiz.

Thirty-three percent of millennial women correctly match financial terms compared to 24 percent of men their age, according to research firm Market Strategies International. But fewer women thought they knew more than men.

“Men typically have higher confidence in their knowledge in general. It’s unsurprising that double the percentage of millennial men than women reported they ‘completely understand,’” says Market Strategies manager Christopher Barnes. “What is interesting, however, is that when asked to demonstrate that knowledge, millennial women perform better.”

Women understand money more than they say

When asked if they completely understood financial and insurance-related terms, only 14 percent of millennial women said they did. But more than two times that amount correctly identifies the terms. Meanwhile, 34 percent of men thought they had the answers. But in reality, much less came through. has previously reported that young women lack confidence in financial decisions. Most young, married women said they left the financial decision making to their husbands because they feel they know more.

Fifty-six percent said so, while 80 percent of women end up in a situation where they eventually need to — either because of divorce or their husbands passing away before them, according to a study from Swiss bank UBS. Eighty-five percent said they believe their husband knows more about finances and therefore should make all major financial decisions.

“Despite living in an age of empowerment, the majority of women still waive their participation in long-term financial decisions,” the study says. “The consequences of abdicating responsibility for long-term financial decisions lead many women to struggle after divorce or the death of their spouses.”

Times are changing whether all women notice

But results show millennial women are wrong in their reasoning. And what they know could be due to how they seek financial information. Thirty-eight percent of millennial women look to friends, family, and colleagues. Meanwhile, that same percentage of millennial men get advice through research online, like YouTube.

“Historically, women have scored lower than men in terms of financial knowledge,” Barnes says.  “But as millennials are delaying marriage and making major financial decisions solo, like buying houses and managing student loan debt, it’s clear millennial women are getting proactive about their financial knowledge.”

Maybe the shift in the way millennial women are learning about money may further push equal pay. The issue is still very relevant around the world. And where it’s most noticeable may surprise you.

Women know more but earn less

Men earn more than women around the world. But believe it or not, the pay gap is more noticeable in the U.S. than it is in China. Women in China earn 12.7 percent less than men, while women in the U.S. earn 17.6 less, says a global survey from consulting firm Korn Ferry.

But when women are given the same job the gap closes to 7 percent. When both men and women are in the same position in the same company, it closes to only 2.6 percent.

“Pay parity is still a very real issue, but it’s an issue that can be addressed if there is an ongoing effort to enable, encourage and select talented women to take on and thrive in challenging roles,” says Korn Ferry executive Jane Edison Stevenson. “Women have the skills and competencies needed to ascend to the highest levels within organizations, and it should be a business imperative for companies to help them get there.”


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About the Author

Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Joe Pye is a certified debt management professional. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Florida Atlantic University’s student-run newspaper, the University Press. He was a finalist for the Mark of Excellence award by the Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 for feature writing and in-depth reporting. He now covers personal finance topics for uncovering trends that help readers deal with the financial world. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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