InvestmentsMar 17 2023

The three women tackling the gender finance gap

Search sponsored by
The three women tackling the gender finance gap
Anna-Sophie Hartvigsen, Emma Bitz and Camilla Clotta Falkenberg
BySally Hickey

Negative stereotypes about womens’ attitude to money are causing women to fall behind financially, the co-founder of a financial education platform has said.

Anna-Sophie Hartvigsen told FTAdviser there are many reasons why women are less well-off than men, most of which she cannot change.

“But [what] we do not talk about enough is the fact that women do not manage their money to the same extent men do,” she said.

Anna-Sophie co-founded Female Invest with Emma Bitz and Camilla Clotta Falkenberg in 2017, aiming to close the gender investment gap.

The company operates a subscription-based platform which focuses on education around investing and money management.

Mind the gap

The reasons for the investment gap are primarily down to negative stereotypes around women’s relationship with money, Anna-Sophie said. 

“[These stereotypes are that] women are bad at maths and women are big spenders,” she said.

Part of the problem is that women are advised to save their money while men are advised to build their wealth, and research has shown that women are more likely to seek information about investing from other people, rather than the internet, which is a man’s likely first port of call.

The problem, Anna-Sophie outlines, is that the entire world of finance is built for, and by, men and all communication is geared towards a male audience.

Female Invest is aiming to encourage women to gain more confidence in this sector.

“A lot of what we do is to create a safe space…we know that women do not feel like they can trust the financial institutions out there," she said.

“We decided to take on the task of educating women and closing the confidence gap…we just need to communicate [information] differently.”

Some of the educational events and resources help women understand how to choose a trading platform.

In November last year, the firm acquired Gaia Investment, an app-only trading platform based in Denmark, focused on sustainability.

Although Female Invest has paying members in 89 countries globally it will initially offer trading to members based in the UK and the EU through its own app.

Community aims

The three women, from Denmark, who appeared on Forbes’ 30 under 30 finance list in 2020, originally met at university, bonding over a passion for investing and their frustration that there were not more women in the sector.

“Learning about the topic was really difficult because everything was written in a language we just could not relate to,” Anna-Sophie said.  

“It was really lonely being a female investor.”

The trio attended events looking for a community of women to speak to, but their efforts were futile, as they could find none.