REPORT: B.C. women are financially stressed, stretched and under-resourced

March 7, 2018, Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – B.C. women worry more than B.C. men about their finances, with 52% experiencing “extreme emotional stress” and 59% feeling unsatisfied with their financial situation, according to a new Vancity report.

Money Troubled: Inside B.C’s financial health gender gap also shows that women in B.C. make 35% less at work than their male counterparts. A national survey reveals they are more likely to lose sleep at night, as gender disparities related to wages, career opportunities and family responsibilities continue to challenge their financial conditions and health.

Informed by the 2017 Canadian Financial Health Index study and custom data set developed for Vancity, the report demonstrates that compared to women in the rest of Canada, women in B.C. are underpaid, and are more challenged by housing prices, cost of living increases and household budgets. One-third of B.C. women surveyed say they are too busy to think about their finances beyond the day-to-day. Millennial and Generation X women in B.C. are most likely to experience negative outcomes in their financial affairs and financial planning.

“This is a call to action, and time for everyone—women and men—to acknowledge that gender-based financial disparities remain a deeply-embedded reality in Canada, and especially in B.C.,” says Sophie Salcito, a Vancity wealth advisor.

The report also found:

  • Almost 40 per cent of women and 30 per cent of men in B.C. say money worries make them physically unwell.
  • More than half of female Millennials in B.C. say money worries make them lose sleep at night. Among B.C women of all ages, the figure is 45 per cent. Among B.C. men, the figure is 37 per cent.
  • 86 per cent of women in B.C. say housing affordability is a problem where they live, compared to 61 per cent of women in the rest of Canada who agree it is a problem.

Additional research within the report found that despite years of gradual improvements and movement towards gender equality, women in B.C. still face more challenges to their financial health and well-being than men. While issues around affordability, employment and income are more acute for B.C. women, they are not unique to our province. Women across Canada typically earn less, have fewer career opportunities and occupy more jobs at the lower end of the pay scale than men. They are also more likely than men to find themselves living on a low income, especially in their senior years. Women can take steps on their own to overcome some financial health gender gaps, but much more effort is needed from governments, employers and financial institutions.

Additional information

Backgrounder: Vancity’s commitment to the full participation of women

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 525,000 member-owners and their communities in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw territories, with 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. With $26.4 billion in assets plus assets under administration, Vancity is Canada’s largest community credit union. Vancity uses its assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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For more information:

Brent Shearer | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394