Women in Investing: Strategies for Financial Empowerment

For The Bid podcast’s International Women’s Day episode, Gargi Pal Chaudhuri, Head of iShares Investment Strategy and Markets Coverage at BlackRock, and Anne Ackerley, Head of BlackRock’s Retirement Group, sat down for a conversation about women and investing – the good, the bad, and the diversified.

From razors to 401(k)s, the two leaders shared their thoughts on how women can fortify their financial independence and build wealth for the long-term.

Looking at progress, Gargi pointed out that “women have come back to the labor force in droves,” and their wages were higher every quarter in 2023 than the previous quarter. But we still need to mind the gender gaps, they both cautioned: between men and women’s earnings and wealth overall, citing factors like higher student debt, time taken for caregiving, the “pink tax” on goods like razors, and longer lifespans.

Because women live longer, their money needs to last longer. To that end, Anne said we need to find solutions for helping workers turn retirement savings into guaranteed lifetime income. The good news is, she said, women participate in their 401(k)s at the same rate as men – and tend to contribute more to them1. But women, and particularly women of color, disproportionately work in jobs that don’t have access to a workplace retirement plan2.

And yet, “we know that when you have access to a plan at work, you’re 15 to 20 times more likely to save3.”