As we see the push for more girls in STEM, finance and investing seems to get left out of the conversation. How do we get more young women interested in the stock market, and why aren’t they already involved?
Published on May 19, 2021
Photo by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels
When I used to think of the stock market, I instinctively thought of phrases like “high risks,” “millions of dollars,” and finally, “male-dominated.” For most girls, investing evokes the idea of a male-driven industry, and they are, in large part, correct. The stock market, something that seems so universal with its availability to the public, sees a lack of female participation even now. According to a Money Crashers survey, 59 percent of men preferred to manage their own investments, compared to just 34 percent of women. Even though studies show women investors consistently outperform men in the long term, women do not invest enough. And with the push for more young girls to get interested in STEM studies, finance seems to be left behind.
My experience with the stock market is like that of many young women: confusing. Starting by investing a little bit of money into the market, I was baffled by how it all worked. No one had taught me what the stock market was or encouraged me to be interested in it, so it all seemed like a foreign language played out in strange words like options, derivatives and earnings ratios. Investing for me felt very different than investing for my male classmates, who described it as something they had known about and were interested in since they were young, as opposed to my female friends who didn’t have much knowledge of the market.
Nghi (Sophie) On, a junior in high school and a member of its stock market club, has also seen and felt the lack of accessibility in the stock market for girls. “It feels like a boys’ club. When I think of someone who invests in the stock market, I think of an old white man, not a young woman. Growing up, while I was encouraged to be interested in STEM studies, I found that I was not encouraged to get into finance, and it seemed to be something that only the guys were doing. It wasn’t something many girls were getting involved in.” On’s high school’s stock market club is currently 92 percent male. This male dominance makes pursuing careers in finance a challenge for young girls. On states, “The environment feels isolating if you aren’t a male.”
This discomfort young girls feel in terms of investing is an echo of the traditional gender roles that are assigned to us from a young age. When asked about her thoughts on why women do not invest more, …….