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New research finds that while periods, mental health and sexual orientation, formerly considered ‘taboo topics’, are now openly discussed by British women, personal finance an “awkward topic” for women to talk about with their peers.

The research, conducted for Good Money Week, has found that nearly a quarter of women in the UK (23%) find discussing personal finance with their peers awkward, compared with the likes of mental health (12%) and sexual orientation (10%).

What’s more, the findings show that just 16% of men find personal finance conversations awkward. In fact, personal finance is as uncomfortable to talk about for women as periods are for men (23%).

Further findings help reveal why money matters remain such a taboo for UK women:

  • 58% of women don’t think financial institutions understand them and their needs
  • Over a third (34%) of women don’t understand the financial information available to them, versus less than a quarter (24%) of men
  • Of the women who don’t feel confident managing their personal finances, 43% don’t feel they have had a proper financial education
  • Half of men have a non-state pension versus just 41% of women despite women living longer on average
  • And nearly a quarter of men (23%) have investments in stocks and shares versus just 15% of women

This new research comes as Good Money Week launches its ‘Who Fund The World’ campaign, which aims to give women the tools and information they need to empower themselves economically.

One of the reasons that the organisation is encouraging this attitudinal shift is because evidence shows that when women invest, they are more likely to do so ethically compared with men. In a nutshell, when women invest, the world wins.


Charlene Cranny, Campaigns Director, Good Money Week, said:        

“These research findings make for very sobering reading. Economic empowerment is not necessarily keeping up pace with the general female empowerment we have seen in recent years.

There is currently a huge disparity between men and women and their personal wealth, often meaning men become significantly wealthier than women in later life.

And if women feel too awkward discussing their personal finances with their peers, they will continue to be held back; we need to normalise the conversation around personal finance. Not only should women be investing in themselves and their future, our research shows that they are more likely to want to invest ethically, so the impact they could have on the planet and society could be huge.                                                                                           

One of the issues holding women back has been that many don’t feel like investment, and the finance industry in general, is “for them”. So, there is a big job to be done in ensuring the industry is inclusive and speaks to women. Investing isn’t difficult or complicated, doesn’t require lots of money and could have a powerful impact on women’s personal wealth – and the planet and society too.”

For more information about the new Good Money Week campaign please visit:

Top 5 most awkward things for women to discuss with people around their age are:

  • sex life (30%)
  • personal finance (23%)
  • salary (18%)
  • joint fourth: mental health problems, politics and periods (12% each)