Women juggling childcare, career, and finances as pandemic reaches one year

A new CIBC study finds that through a pandemic where working and going to school from home are the new norm, Canadian women are balancing a challenging set of responsibilities including childcare, their own careers, and playing a lead role in family finances.

The survey found that responsibilities for children are significantly higher for women than men in most Canadian households. This includes supervising schoolwork for children (65 vs. 38 per cent) and childcare (60 vs. 28 per cent), a split that remains high even for women who are employed full-time*.

CIBC Poll: Women & Finances 2021 (CNW Group/CIBC)

These additional responsibilities extend to household finances. Six out of ten (61 per cent) women polled say they take care of paying the household bills, while a similar number (59 per cent) are in charge of household budgeting. Close to half plan long-term savings goals for their families (49 per cent) and are in charge of deciding how to invest their household’s money (48 per cent).

“With household duties rising during the pandemic environment, Canadian women are proving to be the warriors that are carrying their families through these difficult times. It’s important to acknowledge the workload women are carrying today, but few have clear plans of their own for savings and retirement, and that could create long-term gaps in their financial well-being,” said Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President, CIBC Financial and Investment Advice.

According to the survey, women are involved in financial advisor decisions, such as choosing an advisor and acting as the main point of contact*. However, there is a discrepancy when it comes to their personal finances – 38 per cent do not have an investment portfolio, only 17 per cent report having a clear plan for retirement and a quarter (25 per cent) don’t know how much they need in savings to feel financially comfortable.

“Women are clearly taking on a lot of planning for their households, but it is equally important to perform financial self-care and have a plan for reaching their goals. Whether it’s saving for the future or investing for retirement, a financial expert can help establish a plan to attain your ambitions,” added Ms. Lucreziano.

As part of International Women’s Day, CIBC is hosting a live webinar (in English and French) to help women with their financial well-being and provide insights on navigating uncertain times. To register for Leading with strength and resilience, visit the website here.