Women are more likely than men to have reduced spending as a result of the recession, as Chart 20 demonstrates. They are also more likely than men to believe that there will be a deterioration in the global (and their local) economies over the next few years - and are less likely to expect a sustained recovery.
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Women are also much less likely to view themselves as knowledgeable about finance and investing, and are much less likely to have a view about the future performance of asset classes. As the table shows, 34% of women responded "don't know" when asked to predict equities performance, compared to just 23% of men. This "knowledge" or "conviction" gap exists for all the other asset classes too. Other differences, not in Chart 20, are also important - for example, women are much less likely to think that their government handled the downturn well. They are also more likely to be concerned about the environment.
Collette Dunkley of Barclays, who has spent over six years researching the differences in the way that women and men communicate and is regarded as the UK's expert on the subject, points to some intrinsic attitudinal differences, based as much on biological as on social factors. Women, she points out, "like to process more information than men before reaching an investment, or other, decision. This makes them more willing to be advised - by another person, if they think that they are better placed to do this."
But those offering advice should be aware of different criteria: she stresses the importance of security and safety to women in investment decisions. The clarity of information provided will also be critical. Women may take longer to choose a wealth adviser, but once they have made this choice they are more likely to build a long and trusting relationship with them.
Julie Meyer, Founder of Ariadne Capital, offers a different view. "Women assess people and opportunities differently than men do; it's not better or worse, but just different. Until there are more women who are backing female entrepreneurs, we won't have as many global leading, high-growth firms led by women founders."