“In fact, many women I talk to see their business as their retirement fund,” Ms Lane said. “We need to see more flexibility and innovation in long‐term savings propositions that acknowledge the different earning patterns of the self‐employed.
"We must recognise that this group is often more focused on annual tax returns as a point when income is known for the year and be open to reviewing other tax incentives to encourage saving.”
Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics out today (November 12) showed the number of women in employment fell in the third quarter of the year, as part of a general fall in employment figures.
The women in employment figure was down by 93,000 to 15.46m in the three months to September, while the number of employed men increased by 35,000 to 17.3m.
Although the data showed the largest annual increase in the number of self-employed since September 2016, at 195,000, women made up less than a third of the 4.96m self-employed total.
Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said: “We can only hope this is a small blip in the overall upward trend as spending any time out of the workforce has a huge impact on women’s ability to build a strong financial future as they miss out on being able to build up a workplace pension through auto-enrolment.
"This trend must not be allowed to continue and we need to do all we can to promote strong female participation in the workforce.”