Wednesday 8 March 2017 12:01 am

Online investment platforms help close the gender participation gap in equity markets by a fifth

Online investment platforms could help tackle gender inequality in participation in equity markets, according to an investor study of diversity trends.

Research by SyndicateRoom into attitudes to investment found that online investment platforms had reduced inequality in male-female participation in equity markets by nearly 20 per cent.

Men were 17 per cent more likely to access the equity markets than women, but for those using online platforms, that gap was reduced by a fifth.

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Its survey of 1,000 retail investors found that women weren't as risk averse as people think, and were also more dissatisfied with their broker than men.

Some 45 per cent of UK investors use a digital platform to invest and eight per cent of investors were dissatisfied with brokers, due to the combination of the pressure of high management fees and dwindling interest rates. This level of dissatisfaction rose among women to 11 per cent, who were more likely to seek out alternative platforms to use.

SyndicateRoom found that 56 per cent of women in the UK would consider making equity investments through any method, compared to 65.5 per cent of men.

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Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, chief executive and of SyndicateRoom, said: “It’s positive to see the shift away from traditional channels and towards online platforms – and we’re especially thrilled to see the significant impact digital platforms are having on increasing market access for female investors."

The research also found that Londoners were twice as likely as those outside the capital to seek out a traditional broker for investment, which SyndicateRoom said was likely due to the easy access to broker's in the UK's financial centre. With online investment platforms the rural-urban gap reduced by two-thirds though.