Although the investment industry has traditionally focused on appealing to male investors, more and more women have been entering the investment markets in recent years.

New technology, better accessibility and popularisation that goes hand in hand with affordable education are bringing more and more women into investing - especially in the MENA region.

More women than ever are looking for ways to optimise their money even in uncertain economic and geopolitical conditions.

"We are witnessing a widespread democratisation of investing, which is no longer the privilege of those with sufficient capital. Thanks to education, the general public is getting involved in investing and it is no longer primarily a male domain. Female investors are already an integral part of the investment environment," says Amra Osman, sales director at XTB MENA.

Eman AlAyyaf CEO of Eman AlAyyaf Trading Company, a partner company of XTB MENA commented on being the founder of a female run investment firm in 2024: “As the CEO of Eman AlAyyaf Trading Company, I am proud to lead a female-run investment firm in 2024. Our presence in the financial industry not only underscores our commitment to excellence but also signifies the importance of diversity and inclusion in shaping the future of investments.

"By breaking traditional norms and fostering a culture of empowerment, we are not only driving success but also inspiring the next generation of female leaders to pursue their dreams fearlessly."

Among all European markets, Romania is an undisputed leader when it comes to the share of female investors. In 2023, this share increased by 20%. According to business data, 8 out of 10 Romanian female clients are on maternity leave or have children and are likely looking for a way to grow their savings.

The MENA region ranks second with 18% share of women among all investors, followed by Poland (13%) and Portugal (13%). By contrast, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Germany and Spain, rank among the countries with the lowest percentage of female investors.


What is particularly interesting, is the rising share of women among new clients, who have just started their investment journey last year.

This trend is a result of the addition of new opportunities for long-term, passive investing that might be more appealing to risk-averse female investors. The MENA region is an indisputable leader in this category with 24% of new clients being female in 2023.

Among European markets, in 2023 Romania occupied the leading position but the decrease compared to 2022 is significant and amounts to -6%. Other markets are on the rise with the biggest increases noted in Germany (+6%), Poland (+5%) and Spain (+5%).

Another noteworthy trend is that investing in the financial markets seems to be attracting younger client groups. In the MENA region, the average female investor is 31 years old compared to 35 in the case of men. In other markets, women are getting into investing at a later stage. The youngest group of female investors was reported in Poland: 34 years old.

How did women from the MENA region invest in 2023? 

Challenges faced by women in the financial market include lack of confidence in their investment abilities, lack of financial education and lower disposable income. This gender pay gap is visible across Europe but not in the MENA region where the average value of transactions executed by female investors is similar to those executed by male investors.

Over the years, one may have heard many stereotypes about women's activity in the financial markets. For sure, women are well aware of the benefits of sustainable investing: in all countries, where ETF-based Investment Plans are available, an average of 11% of them are held by women.

Looking at other asset classes, women invested mainly in CFDs on gold, which is not a surprise as the price of this rare metal increased by 13% in 2023. They also had a strong preference for the US indices and have predominantly chosen US100 and US30.

This is also in line with the top traded stocks - again MENA based investor’s preferred US companies with the exposure to global markets such as GameStopCorp, Abeona Therapeutics and Apple.

In terms of the way transactions were executed in 2023, female investors from the MENA region have taken the most modern approach as the share of desktop transactions is record- low and amounts to 8% only. 92% of female investors prefer to execute their transactions on-the-go via the XTB mobile app. It’s expected that in the coming years, this trend will be even more evident along with the enhancements planned for the XTB mobile app.

XTB is a global fintech company that provides individual investors with instant access to financial markets from around the world through an online investing platform and the XTB mobile app. Founded in Poland in 2002, it has over 935,000 customers globally.