Why do women undervalue their worth?

Understanding the real value of non-salary contributions to the household

There was a time when women took care of the house and men went to work. Increasingly, women are doing both. Today, the share of married-couples with children where both parents work is nearly 60%, whereas in the 1950s, that statistic was closer to 25%. And though more women are working outside the home, they continue to contribute to the running of their households in a significant way, with the average woman spending almost 2 hours more a day on housework than the average man.

Read the PennMutual white paper: How much are you worth?

A recent white paper derived from 2012 myWorth survey sponsored by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company reveals persistent misperceptions of women’s understanding of the real value of the non-salary contributions they make to their households (cooking, cleaning, running, errands, paying bills, etc.). Nearly 52% of all women underestimate the value of their non-salary contributions  – with almost a quarter of them underestimating by $30,000 or more (versus only 9% of men).

And those who do not work outside of the home- suffer an even greater misperception: When asked to estimate the value of their non-salary contributions to the household, 64% provided an annual figure that was at least $5,000 lower than their actual contribution

And those who do not work outside of the home- suffer an even greater misperception: When asked to estimate the value of their non-salary contributions to the household, 64% provided an annual figure that was at least $5,000 lower than their actual contribution.

These findings are important to families and their life insurance providers, given the effect of such gross underestimations on life insurance needs planning. 50% of women think they have right amount of life insurance, but since they are undervaluing their worth, they are underinsuring themselves.

When considering their household contributions, it is imperative for women to more appropriately value their worth in order to better plan for the financial security of their families.