New Delhi, March 07, 2023: As per the 5th Edition of #WorkingStree, an annual survey of working women across India conducted by IndiaLends, 2/3rd of working women defined ‘Financial Independence’ as losing dependence on anybody for financial needs, over freedom to spend their own money. Yet, nearly 67% were still dependent on male members of the family to make financial decisions. Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, IndiaLends’ #WorkingStree survey was conducted online in February 2023, aimed at understanding the pulse of the Indian working women vis-à-vis financial independence and career choices. It covered 10,000+ working women in the 21–65 age group residing in metros and tier 1 and 2 cities across 4439 unique pin codes of India.
The survey found that over 90% of the respondents are contributing towards household expenses with nearly 40% chipping in with more than 50% of their income. Nearly 70% of these women earn less than Rs 5 lakh annually, while 23% are in the Rs 5-10 lakh annual income bracket. Whilst, an overwhelming number contributed significantly to their household expenses, nearly 67% of them were dependent on a male family member for financial decisions including their husband, father, or brother.
However, over 22% of the respondents were not influenced by anyone in making financial decisions. The survey also uncovered the desire amongst salaried women to turn entrepreneurs with nearly 1/4th wanting to start their own business, and another 1/4th 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 decision related to discretionary expenses independently. Only about 1/4th of women were able to make investment decisions independently, with 1/3rd women claiming it’s always been the male member of the family who makes investment decisions, and 1/4th of the respondent finding investments “complex and confusing”.
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. At IndiaLends, we are committed to supporting and empowering working women to take control of their financial lives, and this #WorkingStree report only reinforces our belief in the urgent need to accelerate this change.”
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. With that, only 1/3rd of working women felt confident of making all their financial decisions.
“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,” Chopra added.
The most important work motivation for 1/3rd 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 IndiaLends’ #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%. In terms of professions, salaried employees represented the largest group of respondents at 43.6%, followed by self-employed individuals 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%.