The State of Women’s Financial Health

By Sallie Krawcheck

Today, on the second annual Financial Wellness Day, Ellevest unveiled some new research about how women are doing right now, financially speaking. (Spoiler: “It’s rough out there” might be the understatement of the year.)

But the results are way more interesting than a plain-vanilla corporate press release could ever do justice to — so we’ve annotated our press release so you can hear how we really feel about this stuff.

Click on the highlighted links to pop up color commentary and the inside scoop.


Research shows that financial progress women have made post-pandemic is being undone, with 86% of women feeling financially unprepared for a recession.

New York, NY, September 22, 2022 — Ellevest, the wealthtech company built by women for women, is marking the second annual Financial Wellness Day by unveiling new insights into women’s financial health. The data released comes from the first-of-its-kind Ellevest Women’s Financial Health Index (“EWFHI”) and the second annual Ellevest Financial Wellness Survey.

"Our goal is to comprehensively capture the state of women’s financial health, through both survey insights and quantifiable data from our new Ellevest Women’s Financial Health Index,” said Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest. “The truth is that it’s difficult to change what you don’t measure. This work places gender-based financial inequities squarely in focus, as well as shows a path forward.”

“We have long known that money is women’s #1 source of stress. This issue has only become more acute as women’s financial health has deteriorated. In fact, the EWFHI shows that women’s financial health is currently the worst it’s been in the last five years,” said Ellevest Head Data Scientist Dr. Kate Sullivan, who constructed the proprietary index. “Women’s financial health worsened during the pandemic, primarily due to employment levels, but it rebounded relatively quickly as the labor market recovered and access to paid family leave began to expand. Since then, however, it’s been driven further down as high inflation impacts her spending power and the overturning of Roe v. Wade clouds her economic future. No wonder consumer confidence has been falling, even as women return to the workforce.” 

The Ellevest Financial Wellness Survey 2022 gives further insights into women’s money mindsets. Highlights from the findings show:

  • Money is women’s #1 source of stress: More than half (59%) of women worry about money at least once a week. And a mere 14% feel prepared for a recession. 

  • Women are prioritizing their financial goals differently than men: There are stark differences between men and women’s top financial priorities. The top priority for men? Growing retirement savings (supporting family was #4). The top financial priority for women? Supporting their family (retirement was #4).

  • Women are worried about climate change: 62% of respondents cited climate change as one of their top financial concerns, more than retirement planning (51%), credit card debt (46%), the stock market (38%), and child care costs (30%).

  • Women are less likely to invest, but when they do they keep their cool: Women are roughly half as likely to invest as men are. And just 30% of women have met with a financial advisor or planner. That said, when women do invest, they make many of the right moves. Only 38% of women reported feeling concerned about market volatility vs 58% of men — which explains why more men than women have paused their retirement contributions and withdrawn money from the stock market.

  • Women expect more from their employers: 44% of women (and 56% of millennial women) would leave their current company if its values on reproductive rights did not align with their own.

  • A higher salary does not mean less financial stress: Surprisingly, wealthy women are feeling financial stress just as much as non-wealthy women: Some 75% of women making more than $250,000 in annual income report that they do not feel in control of their money.

“We’ve seen again and again that taking stock of your financial health — and then taking concrete actions to improve it — can turn money from a source of stress to a source of strength for women,” said Ms. Krawcheck. “That’s why Ellevest is providing a guide to improving your financial wellness and a package of actionable, customizable financial health workbooks to help guide our community toward stability and control. We will continue to update and publish the Ellevest Women’s Financial Health Index, monitor women’s relationship with money, and provide best-in-class resources in the months and years to come.”

About Ellevest:

Ellevest is the financial company built by women, for women, providing solutions for all stages of women’s financial lives to help them invest their money and take control of their finances. Ellevest’s offerings include personalized investing, financial planning, and education, as well as private wealth management for high net worth clients who want a bespoke financial strategy that may include impact investing. Named 2021 Best Robo-Advisory for IRA Investing by NerdWallet1 and Best App for Social Responsible Investing2, Ellevest has built an online community of more than 3 million women working toward financial equality. Learn more at

The Ellevest Women’s Financial Health Index is constructed from a number of quantifiable factors that impact women’s financial health; these include the gender pay gap, inflation, student loan debt, paid family leave, reproductive rights, women in leadership, consumer confidence and student loan debt. It also includes proprietary insights from Ellevest’s business, including trends in recurring deposits by women and share of investments going into impact investing. 

Ellevest Censuswide Study 2022 Methodology: Censuswide conducted research on behalf of Ellevest, between August 5, 2022 and August 15, 2022 among 2,487 people ages 18+, in the US.    

Press Contacts:
Nairobi Jeanniton and Lizzie Blumenthal:


Yep, exactly. Annotations will show in the pop-ups.

Also majority-owned by women. (Extremely cool women.)

If you’re still wondering why Financial Wellness Day needs to be a thing, you’re stuck in 2021. Back then, just 14% of women said that financial wellness was important for their overall well-being, and it ranked dead last among other types of wellness (mental, physical, etc). But this year, 42% (!) of women said financial wellness was important for their overall well-being, which was even more than — get this — physical wellness.

What a difference a year (not to mention high inflation) can make.

And it’s … well, let’s just say it’s not great. Pretty bad, actually. In many ways, it’s worse than it was in the depths of the pandemic.

We spoke to nearly 2,500 people, across a range of ages and stages. Including a lot of men.

Borderline impossible, really.

It’s really interesting (and sobering) stuff. You can read all about it directly from Dr. Kate here.

You read that right. On a scale from 1–10, 10 being “women are flying preeeetty high,” right now it’s … one.

PhD and all-around excellent person.

For all of you who love numbers, hard data, and social research as much as we do, check out the full results and methodology in Dr. Kate’s whitepaper.

Yeah, women’s financial health is somehow even worse than it was in the depths of the pandemic-induced She-cession.

Inflation hurts everyone, but — surprise, surprise — it hurts women more.

The loss of federal reproductive health protections absolutely impacts women’s financial health. Big time.

If you’re more of a graph person than a words person, here’s a super-visual guide to the ways the EWFHI and Financial Wellness Survey intersect.

Interestingly, the things they worry about differ by women’s age. Younger women worry more about reproductive rights, job security, child care costs, and representation in government.

For older women, it’s all about inflation and recession.

Their financial stressors, too. Women’s top worries are inflation and their emergency funds. Same for men. But men are much more likely to be concerned about stock and crypto markets’ volatility than women — we’re talking 20 points and 13 points more worried, respectively.

*Looks directly at the camera*

You might not think of climate change when you think about your finances, but consider: How many women need to think about how natural disasters might impact their lives? How many Gen Z women are darkly joking on TikTok about what the world will look like by the time they can use their retirement accounts? Also: Climate change affects women more. No wonder so many women listed it here.

36% of women say they’re investing, vs 63% of men. Oof.

Be still our hearts! 75% of women with active retirement contributions said they’re still going strong.

77% of women said they have not withdrawn their money. This trend holds even as the broader mutual fund industry posts tens of billions of dollars in weekly outflows, which lends credence to the finding that men are more likely to pull money from their investments during periods of market volatility.

What was that about women not being good investors?

And two-thirds of young women say that it’s important for them to align their spending with companies that support reproductive rights.


That’s why we’re here.

A note from our legal team: As of January 5, 2021. Rating based on research and data collected by Nerdwallet. Nerdwallet and Ellevest are not affiliated with one another. Ellevest was a Nerdwallet Partner at the time the rating was given, however Nerdwallet’s opinions are their own.

Another note from our legal team: As of January 4, 2022, rating based on research and data collected by Bankrate between Oct. 4 and Nov. 30, 2021. Bankrate and Ellevest are not affiliated with one another and have no formal relationship. Bankrate is not compensated by Ellevest and Bankrate’s opinions are their own.

After all, we are the only wealthtech — or fintech, or financial company, even — that was built for women. Who else has anywhere near as many insights into women’s behavior when it comes to money? No one, that’s who.

© 2022 Ellevest, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

1. As of January 5, 2021. Rating based on research and data collected by Nerdwallet. Nerdwallet and Ellevest are not affiliated with one another. Ellevest was a Nerdwallet Partner at the time the rating was given, however Nerdwallet’s opinions are their own.

2. As of January 4, 2022, rating based on research and data collected by Bankrate between Oct. 4 and Nov. 30, 2021. Bankrate and Ellevest are not affiliated with one another and have no formal relationship. Bankrate is not compensated by Ellevest and Bankrate’s opinions are their own.

All opinions and views expressed by Ellevest are current as of the date of this writing, for informational purposes only, and do not constitute or imply an endorsement of any third party’s products or services.

Information was obtained from third-party sources, which we believe to be reliable but not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness.

The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific person. 

The information provided should not be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered specific legal, investment or tax advice. Investing entails risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that the investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.

As of 8/15/2022,  Ellevest Membership fees can be found here. Other fees as described in Ellevest’s Wrap Fee Program Brochure and the Ellevest Membership Terms and Conditions Agreement will continue to apply.

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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.