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Women and Finance. How do Polish Women Assess Their Financial Position?

FINANCEWomen and Finance. How do Polish Women Assess Their Financial Position?
  • Only 15% of Polish women admit to having complete control and financial agency, and 57% have attained this status “to a certain extent”.
  • 37% of respondents believe that wage gaps negatively impact women’s financial position.
  • Only 29% say that their workplaces are committed to implementing policies supporting women’s financial well-being, including equal pay policies.
  • 43% of women express a lack of self-confidence when making financial decisions.

Mastercard checked how Polish women approach money-related issues and how they perceive their financial situation. The research shows that most women in Poland feel decisive and active in the financial sector, and over half manage their household budget independently. However, Polish women do not feel confident in certain aspects of managing finances, such as investing or repaying a mortgage. For many, discussions about money are embarrassing. Factors influencing the respondents’ attitudes towards money include uncertainty regarding financial decisions and the burden of stereotypes and social norms. The respondents also highlight that both employers and government programs inadequately support wage equality and women’s financial welfare.

The research revealed that, according to 37% of Polish women, financial well-being is a life situation in which they can focus more on the family instead of on money. 28% of respondents defined it as a lack of negative emotions when checking their bank account balance, while 27% consider it the ability to enjoy experiences like concerts, meeting friends, travelling, or dining out without worrying about the cost. Women in Poland reportedly reach such a state at the average age of 28, as shown by Mastercard’s “Women and Finances 2024” study.

In answering the question about their control over money, the ability to make appropriate financial decisions and manage the budget, 15% of Polish women confirmed that they have full control and agency over finances, and 57% have achieved this position “to a certain extent”. When it comes to assessing their financial situation, almost one-third (32%) of Polish women admit to spending as much as they earn each month and not having enough money to save, invest, or use for anything else beyond everyday needs. One-fifth of respondents (21%) feel financially stable enough not to have to worry about finances. 43% of Polish women do not believe they will ever achieve financial wellbeing.

Polish women take a conservative approach to finance and get extremely emotional about money. 43% confirmed they lacked confidence in making financial decisions, while 56% would not take risks with finances. Nearly one-third (32%) feel overwhelmed by financial matters, and 30% experience stress and anxiety when thinking about money.

37% of the polled Polish women said that wage inequalities negatively impact women’s financial well-being, one of the lowest scores in Europe. Only Portuguese women evaluated the situation worse (41%). The Mastercard study showed that neither employers nor the government do enough to improve the situation. Only 29% of Polish women feel that their workplaces are committed to establishing policies promoting women’s financial independence, such as equal pay, providing access to financial advisors, or setting favourable pension rules. 34% of Polish women also confirm the lack of government programs aimed at improving women’s financial position.

According to Eurostat data for 2023, the gender pay gap in European Union countries is about 13% and has minimally decreased over the past decades. Poland fares slightly better, with a wage gap of 4.5%, which, as some experts suggest, may not reflect the real extent of the problem.

Mastercard’s research found a certain kind of financial taboo: 45% of respondents say that open conversations about money are not common in their social circles. Therefore, 31% of women are afraid of receiving negative reactions when discussing their finances, and 17% find such conversations embarrassing. These concerns are less common among men.

Women feel most comfortable discussing financial matters among themselves. When asked who they would turn to for financial advice or money tips, the majority of Polish women (57%) indicated a financial advisor, followed by their mother (22%) and friends/colleagues (17%).

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