Financial platform ETFmatic have launched an initiative to encourage women to get started in the investment sector, after it was revealed that women are 7 percent less likely to have a portfolio than men.

ETFmatic are offering six months worth of fee-free investing for women who open an account this month, as part of the platform’s effort to democratise the investment industry. A study by the Telegraph revealed that women are just as likely as men to have savings accounts and cash ISAs, but only 10 percent of women have stock and shares ISAs compared to 17 percent of men.

Stefanie zu Dohna, Client &Operations Director at ETFmatic, said:

“At ETFmatic 10 percent of our clients are female. The average age of our customers is 34 years. This is an age where lots of people settle down and start seriously thinking about their investments for the future. But this is also an age where many women are likely to be taking time out of full time work to raise children and earnings may decline – any savings put to one side on a regular basis need to work harder to meet long term financial goals.

Of the initiative to gift women fee-free investing, zu Dohna continued:

“We hope this helps plug any investment gaps, and encourages more women to use digital wealth management platforms as an alternative investment solution that’s quick, easy, transparent and secure.”

The most recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics found that women are already at a disadvantage when it comes to saving money, with an 18.6 percent salary difference between men and women for all types of employment meaning that women have less money to invest than men.

However, research has also found that with the money they have, women tend to be better investors than their male counterparts. The University of California Berkeley’s study of 35,000 brokerage accounts returns from 1990 to 1996 found that women on average outperformed men by 1 percentage point, with more recent studies showing a 2 percentage point outperformance from 2007 to 2009.