More than a quarter (28 per cent) of male employees in the U.S. report a reduction in their stress levels due to their employer’s financial wellness programs, compared to 18 per cent of women, according to a new survey by HerMoney Media Inc. and Principal Financial Services, Inc.

The survey, which polled 900 U.S. employees at small- and medium-sized businesses, found women (40 per cent) were more likely than men (32 per cent) to say financial wellness feels like “being at peace (without financial stress).”

Men more often credited their employer’s financial wellness programs with helping them increase their emergency savings (25 per cent compared to 13 per cent of women), reduce debt (21 per cent compared to nine per cent) and improve their setting of financial goals (23 per cent compared to 15 per cent).

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While more than half (58 per cent) of male employees said they’re confident about money management, 45 per cent of female employees reported the same. In addition, just 22 per cent of women considered themselves knowledgeable about investing compared to 46 per cent of men.

Compared to men, women are using a wider variety of resources to learn about investing through podcasts (44 per cent versus 27 per cent), books (40 per cent versus 26 per cent) and workplace programs (25 per cent versus 15 per cent).

“The good news is that women are focused on precisely the right financial threats and aren’t allowing a volatile economy to derail them,” said Jean Chatzky, chief executive officer of, in a press release. “In fact, when it comes to making investing decisions, women – who have long had a reputation for being risk-averse – seem to have turned an important corner in their investment decisions.”

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