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Hourglass in City highlights ‘painfully’ slow progress closing gender investment gap

169 years to close the gender pay gap is happening 'painfully slowly'
169 years to close the gender pay gap is happening 'painfully slowly'

THE FAST-GROWING investment collective Female Invest landed their latest campaign in the heart of the Square Mile today, installing an enormous hourglass at Bank Junction.

The hourglass represented the 169 years Female Invest reckon it will take to close the so-called investment gap – the difference between the number of men and women investing, and the size of their asset piles.

Female Invest launched the stunt alongside a crowdfunding campaign.

Founded in Copenhagen by three women – one of whom is now based in London – Female Invest is now the world’s largest financial education platform targeting women.


The founders have also become bestselling authors with the books Girls just wanna have funds.

According to recent research undertaken by Aviva, 37 per cent of women do not invest versus 24 per cent of men.

Female Invest founders Anna Sophia Hartvigsen, Camilla Falkenberg and Emma Bitz
Female Invest founders Anna Sophia Hartvigsen, Camilla Falkenberg and Emma Bitz

“In a world where money equals freedom, power and independence, this massively impacts the lives of women around the world. With progress happening painfully slowly, it’s seeming to be quietly accepted that no living woman will experience financial equality in her lifetime,” Female Invest’s founders said today.

The group also launched a crowdfunding campaign, which already has 4,000 investors who have pre-registered in two hours.

It has built the ‘world’s largest financial education platform’ for women, representing people in 125 countries. Female Invest has also led education about finance and investing since it was founded four years ago, helping more than half a million women and raising more than $12m (£9.5m) worldwide.

The hourglass is going down slowly.
The hourglass is going down slowly, representing the slow progress of gender equality in the City

It has worked with leading female entrepreneurs such as Deborah Meaden and Sara Davies from Dragons’ Den and Emma Watson, who praised Female Invest as “the best source of financial knowledge out there”.

Female Invest founder Camilla Falkenberg said: “It’s time to treat financial gender inequality as an urgent issue,” while Emma Bitz added that the movement was “born from the shared frustration of women around the world.

“Now, we’re bringing our message to the very heart of London.

“Money equals freedom, power and independence. We want more women to have more of that”.

Fellow founder Anna-Sophie Hartvigsen said: “By physically bringing the issue to the heart of London, we want to create a sense of urgency around solving it”

This comes as the number of female CEOs of FTSE 100 companies remains low. As of March, only four firms in London’s premier bluechip index had both chief executives and COOs who were women.

As of November last year, fewer than 10 per cent of CEOs at UK FTSE 350 companies were female. In February, it was reported 42 per cent of board members on FTSE 100 firms are women, but just 10 were in the top job.

According to recent ONS data on the gender pay gap, it has been declining slowly over time. Official data showed over the last decade it has fallen by approximately a quarter among full-time employees, and in April 2023 it stood at 7.7 per cent.

The ONS also said that the gender pay gap among higher earners was much larger at the time.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said earlier in the year that she wants to close the gender pay gap “once and for all” if she becomes the UK’s first female Chancellor after the next general election.