Gender pay gap remains - but many women are turning to investing.

New Zealand has made great strides in gender equality – but an 8.6 per cent gender pay gap remains, resulting in a retirement savings gap of 25 per cent for women.

Awareness of this gap, says Chantal Baxter, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, has led to more women embracing investing to boost their financial security.

With women typically living longer, earning and saving less than men (for a variety of reasons, including career gaps to raise a family), she says many find it challenging to accumulate enough savings for retirement. Worryingly, about 6 in 10 women feel ill-prepared for retirement and lack confidence in their investment knowledge.

However, Baxter says she has witnessed a noticeable shift: "We're seeing a growing interest among women in investing, which is encouraging," she says. "Women have the temperament and skills to excel as investors."

While women can't solely control the gender pay gap, they can take charge of their savings and improve their retirement outcome, she says. By learning to invest and setting aside a small percentage of their monthly income, they can make a significant difference in securing their financial future.

Often the key to getting started is garnering the confidence to ask for help. Craigs Investment Partners boasts over 180 investment advisers across New Zealand, more than 50 of them women.

Craigs Investment Partners Investment Adviser Chantal Baxter. 
An empowerment path 

Investing has sparked positive changes for women like Sarah (not her real name), a 44-year-old professional. Left a small inheritance, she sought advice and, after guidance, has built a decent nest egg aligned with her values and principles.

"Money was always the men's domain in my life," Sarah admits. "Taking control myself was freeing yet nerve-wracking."

As Baxter explains, finances, particularly for women, relate directly to wellbeing. "Stress, one of the main reasons people experience high levels of it, often stems from financial issues."

This is backed up by a 2019 study from the Financial Capability Commission, revealing that 74 per cent of Kiwi women grapple with financial stress. Investing transcends returns; it can help alleviate money-related stress and cultivate financial independence.

Harnessing natural talents

There's ample research suggesting women possess innate skills suited to investing compared to men. They tend to adhere more diligently to proven principles such as long-term strategising, seeking advice, and conducting thorough research. In contrast, men often engage in overconfident, frequent trading, which can lead to underperformance and higher fees.

Baxter adds that women are also less likely to stubbornly hold onto losing positions and are more inclined to maintain diversified portfolios.

Bridging knowledge gaps

Despite these natural talents, knowledge gaps persist in understanding investment products and risks. Baxter emphasises the importance of investment education: "We're passionate about education - you can never ask a silly question. When people want to learn, it allows us to provide value. That’s hugely satisfying and a real privilege.”

As one of New Zealand's leading private wealth investment advisory firms, Craigs Investment Partners sees empowering women with the confidence and knowledge to invest as a crucial objective. Advisers and other specialists from Craigs share their knowledge and insights through regular Women's Wealth Workshops across the country, covering everything from fundamental concepts like shares versus bonds to more advanced topics. There is also a wealth of educational information on their website and social media channels.

Baxter says Craigs have been running their women-focused investment programme since 2007 to create a comfortable environment where women can seek advice, learn at their own pace, and keep growing confidence around investing.

All income levels

The empowerment of investing infiltrates all income levels. Even small regular contributions can begin to build an investment portfolio. Emily (also not her real name), a 28-year-old professional, has created a diversified portfolio through manageable monthly contributions from her marketing income.

"I used to feel powerless about finances, but now I regard myself as an investor working towards long-term goals," she says. "It's incredibly motivating."

Women helping women

As women invest, they can gain long-term financial stability. With support, they can lead the way for future generations. "Bring daughters into the conversation," Baxter says. "As well as building wealth through their own careers, we anticipate significant wealth will transfer to women over the next decade through inheritance."

The key is fostering confidence. "We want more women taking that first step, and we’re here to support them."

Craigs Investment Partners has 19 branches around the country to help clients gain knowledge and confidence in investing, says Baxter: "As an industry, we can truly improve women's financial futures by involving and empowering more women.”

Chantal Baxter is an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. Her disclosure statement is available on request and free of charge. This information is general in nature and should not be regarded as specific investment advice. Craigs Investment Partners do not accept liability for the results of any actions taken or not taken upon the basis of this information, or for any negligent mis-statements, errors or omissions. Those acting upon this information and any recommendations do so entirely at their own risk. Craigs Investment Partners did not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person in the preparation of this information. This information does not constitute a representation that any investment strategy or recommendation is suitable to your individual circumstances or otherwise constitutes a personal recommendation. Craigs Investment Partners recommend seeking advice from a licenced financial adviser about your financial situation and goals before acquiring any financial products or making any investment decision. To talk to one of Craigs Investment Partners’ financial advisers, please call 0800 272 442. The Craigs Investment Partners Limited Financial Advice Provider Disclosure Statement can be viewed at Visit