Study Shows the Impact of Age, Gender, and Ethnicity on Employee Financial Wellness

Age, gender and ethnicity and Financial wellness programs

Study Shows the Impact of Age, Gender, and Ethnicity on Employee Financial Wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how employees and employers perceive health and wellbeing. And so, employee wellness programs that focus on holistic health dimensions have become a necessary part of workplace policies.

Our previous blog about an employee wellness study showed the changing employer attitudes towards financial wellness programs and how they are addressing employee issues. 

Bank of America revealed the findings from its 11th Annual Workplace Benefits report. Escalent surveyed 1,363 full-time employees with 401(k) plans and 834 employers who offered 401(k) plans and shared responsibility for employee plans and decisions. The survey was conducted between December 28, 2020, and February 8, 2021.

95% of employers feel highly responsible towards their employee financial wellness, and 46% were offering financial wellness programs, which was a significant improvement compared to the pre-COVID statistics. Also, many employers were focusing on offering different financial wellness support for their workforce.

Despite the efforts put in by most employers to ensure financial wellbeing, the study shows a few loopholes and shortcomings in overall employee wellness.

Gender Difference Impacting Financial Wellbeing

According to the study, women continue to lag in their preparedness and frame of mind towards financial wellness.

  • While 57% of men considered their financial health as good or excellent, only 47% of women felt the same way.
  • Compared to 5% of men, 11% of women were more likely to lose their sleep over financial stress.
  • Around 92% of women felt some kind of financial stress, compared to 88% of men.
  • 43% of men and 53% of women are likely to have credit card debt.
  • 25% of women are likely to have student loans compared to 17% of men.
  • 59% of women said they did not have control over their debt, compared to 50% of men.
  • While 32% of women said their debt impacted their ability to accomplish their goals, 23% of men agreed with the same.
  • Although a safe financial retirement was a top priority for men and women, only 34% of women prioritized saving compared to 46% of men.

Association of Financial Stress with Ethnicity and Age

According to the study, apart from gender, age and ethnicity played a crucial role in employee financial health and associated stress levels.

  • Ethnicity – Although employees across different cultural and ethnic backgrounds said they had fairly consistent financial health, there was a slight difference when it came to a few ethnicities. Around 22% of Caucasian employees, 26% of Asian, 38% of Hispanic/Latino, and 40% of Black/African American employees said their financial stress impacted their work productivity negatively. And so, DEI programs at the workplace are as important as other holistic wellness programs.

  • Age-Group – Many studies show that Millennials are at a higher risk of acquiring chronic health diseases.Compared to the older generations, the youngsters were lagging with their financial wellness. While 58% of the Baby Boomers ranked themselves financially healthy, only 48% of Gen X and 48% of Gen Z employees felt the same. Also, 94% of Gen X and 93% of Gen Z felt finance-related stress, while only 84% of Baby Boomers were stressed about their financial situations.

According to experts, a diverse workforce can boost employee engagement and improve retention rates. However, the more diverse the workforce is in regards to age, gender, and cultural backgrounds, the kind of support system they need will also keep expanding. And so, employers must make sure they invest their wellness dollars rightly in tailored employee wellness programs that can support and encourage the workers to achieve their goals.

The remote working, multiple responsibilities, and heavy workload have stressed many individuals. And so, supporting employee mental, financial, and physical wellbeing is crucial to ensure work-life balance. The more support and resources are offered to employees, the more they will be engaged, healthy, and productive, reflecting workplace wellbeing and business growth.