What can be done to help women and involve partners? Here are five ideas to get you started.
1. Read up on the right kinds of risk.
Prudential discovered in a survey that less than half (47 percent) of women are willing to take some risk for the opportunity of a greater financial reward, and a shocking 56 percent are only interested in "guaranteed" financial products.
2. Start investing at work.
If you haven't done so already, your 401(K) is an easy place to start investing while enjoying the confidence that comes from receiving those quarterly statements.
Case in point: Just by tucking aside $3,000 annually over 25 years, your account will grow to about $200,000, and could potentially reach $255,000 if your employer offers a match of 50 cents for every dollar you save (up to 6 percent).
3. Make sure both partners have a role in the financial relationship.
It's easy to hand over the financial responsibilities to your partner, but will that help women increase their knowledge and confidence?
One option is to split wealth-management duties, whether it's handling certain savings accounts or certain tasks, like shopping for a new mortgage.
4. Get clubby.
How about combining the social side of your life with financial progress? Women's participation in investment clubs has grown over the years. In fact, about half the members of investment clubs are now women, according to BetterInvesting.
And how about that trait among women on the job to be overprepared? Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, told the authors of the book "The Confidence Code" that she and German chancellor Angela Merkel have even talked about being overprepared. "We want to be completely on top of everything, and we want to understand it all, and we don't want to be fooled by somebody else," she said.
That trait from other parts of your life can help with financial progress.
5. Find an advisor who understands you.
If you find you're too busy, consider a financial advisor. Companies are increasingly aware that since more women are becoming the CEOs of the home, it's wise to have advisors who understand their unique needs, from investing for a longer lifespan to caring for aging parents. Studies also show women want transparency and education when it comes to their advisor relationships.
With the growth of women as advisors and their ability to nurture and educate clients, consider who would serve you best and what expertise is most important to you. Clearly, just as a mentor can help women move into good jobs or move them up the career ladder, so too can a financial mentor make a difference.
There may be a confidence gap, but taking action—by learning and doing—can help build a woman's confidence and her financial security.
Jennifer Openshaw is executive director of the Financial Women's Association (FWA) and author of "The Socially Savvy Advisor" (Wiley). Follow her @jopenshaw