90% women contribute to household expenses yet 67% are dependent on men for financial decisions: Survey
The fifth edition of the annual #WorkingStree survey, conducted by IndiaLends, threw up some interesting statistics. Two-third of working women defined ‘financial independence’ as losing dependence on anybody for financial needs, over the freedom to spend their own money.
Ahead of International Women’s Day,conducted a #WorkingStree survey online to understand what Indian working women felt about financial independence and career choices.
The fifth edition of the annual survey, conducted by IndiaLends, threw up some interesting statistics. Two-third of working women defined ‘financial independence’ as losing dependence on anybody for financial needs, over the freedom to spend their own money.
But, contrary to these thoughts, nearly 67% were still dependent on male members of the family to make financial decisions.
The survey covered 10,000+ working women in the 21–65 age group residing in metros and Tier I and II cities across 4,439 unique pin codes of India.
Other important findings of the survey include:
· Ninety percent of the respondents contribute towards household expenses, with nearly 40% chipping in with more than 50% of their income.
· Nearly 70% of women earn less than Rs 5 lakh annually, while 23% are in the Rs 5-10 lakh annual income bracket.
· An overwhelming number of women contributed significantly to their household expenses, nearly 67% of them were dependent on a male family member for financial decisions including husband, father, or brother. However, over 22% of the respondents were not influenced by anyone in making financial decisions.
The survey also reveals the desire among salaried women to turn entrepreneurs with nearly one-fourth of the respondents wanting to start their own business, and another one-fourth wanting to upgrade their skills as a key career priority.
Among other findings, the #WorkingStree survey revealed that almost half of the working women were only making decisions related to discretionary expenses independently. Only about one-fourth of women were able to make investment decisions independently, with one-third women claiming it’s always been the male member of the family who makes investment decisions, and one-fourth of the respondent finding investments “complex and confusing”.
In a press statement, IndiaLends Founder and CEO Gaurav Chopra said, “Empowering women to take charge of their finances is not just a moral imperative, but also an economic necessity. It is time for us as a society to break down traditional barriers and create equal opportunities for all. It is heartening to see that women today are active contributors in the household and that they have started taking an interest in knowing more about personal finance.”
The survey also found that nearly half of working women were learning about personal finance from social media, about 30% from news articles, and 20% from workshops and seminars, followed by professional experts. Only one-third of working women felt confident of making all their financial decisions.
The most important work motivation for one-third of the women polled was financial independence; 26% said they were working to support their families; and 21.6% for improving self-confidence; about 6.7% of the respondents said they worked to keep themselves occupied.
The majority of the #WorkingStree survey respondents were in the 25-34 age group, representing 47.7% of the total sample, followed by 35-44 year-olds at 30.8%. The youngest age group of 21-24 years represented 13.7% of the sample, while those over 45 and above made up about 7.8%. Salaried employees represented the largest group of respondents at 43.6%, followed by self-employed women at 31.3%. Homemakers represented 12.3% of the sample, while professional individuals such as CAs and lawyers accounted for 4.4%. When it came to marital status, the majority of respondents were married at 70.6%, followed by singles at 16.4%.
Edited by Megha Reddy