One in four women has seen their income plummet during the last year, a new study has found.
The report, carried out by Fidelity International, discovered women may have lost an average of £5,500 of their annual salary, or roughly a quarter of their income.
Researchers found one in eight have decreased the amount they put towards their pension amid the Covid pandemic, while three in 10 women said they have saved less money in the last year and 17 per cent have invested less money.
Around half of the 1,000 women polled reported their career, mental health or physical wellbeing had been detrimentally impacted by the public health crisis.
Maike Currie, of Fidelity International, said: “The last 12 months have undoubtedly challenged all of us. However, women have been – and continue to be – disproportionately affected by the pandemic, as documented by both the United Nations and the Women and Equalities Committee.
“Female-centric industries have borne the brunt of job losses, furlough and income reductions, and women continue to balance this with more unpaid work like childcare and elderly care.
“Financially, the impact is significant. Reduced earnings and the already significant financial gender gaps when it comes to income and long-term savings, makes this particularly concerning. While the end of lockdown restrictions may now be in sight, the repercussions of women’s experiences over the last 12 months may reverberate long into their futures.”
Ms Culkie noted that women were “increasingly embracing their financial power” before the health emergency hit and it is important for this progress to carry on.
Some 40 per cent of women who have suffered a fall in their income were forced to go into their savings and around one in 10 have ended up borrowing on a credit card to get by.
The research comes after a study last month found almost a third of women working in frontline roles during the Covid crisis have been forced to go into their savings to manage financial difficulties.
The report, carried out by Unison, discovered women employed in key worker roles are forking out more on household bills during the pandemic, with almost half seeing their spending rise.