Women Increasingly View Company Stock as an Important Part of Their Benefits Package and Financial Strategy, Fidelity Survey Finds

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Employers who are looking to attract and retain female employees should
consider highlighting the role of company stock plans in their corporate
benefits package, according to new research1 from Fidelity
Investments. The survey results found that nearly half (49 percent) of
women indicated a company stock plan is an important benefit when
considering taking a job at a new company, and more than half (52
percent) of women said that access to a company stock plan increases
loyalty to their employer.

The findings are part of Fidelity’s biennial survey that examines the
evolving role of company stock plans within the corporate benefits
landscape. While traditional benefits such as a 401(k), health insurance
and vacation time continue to be popular among surveyed employees,
company stock plans are increasing in importance, especially among women.

According to the survey results, almost two-thirds of women (64 percent)
felt that their company stock plan provided a sense of ownership in
their organization, and 67 percent indicated they were very satisfied
with their company’s stock plan. The research also found that 48 percent
of women indicated they work harder knowing that their company stock
plan will reward them for their company’s performance.

“While the overall labor market is extremely tight, the competition for
top female performers is even more intense,” said Emily Cervino, Head of
Thought Leadership, Stock Plan Services at Fidelity Investments.
“Company stock plans have always been viewed as an important employee
benefit, but they can be an even more strategic tool for employers
looking to attract and retain strong female talent.”

Company Stock Programs Increasingly Seen as Financial Wellness Tool

Fidelity also examined how employees are using company stock as part of
their overall financial strategy, and found that more than two-thirds of
respondents (67 percent) consider company stock as part of their
long-term investment plan. Here are several key findings:

  • Almost half of employees (47 percent) indicated they would prefer
    company stock over a cash award, an increase from 35 percent in 2016.
    When asked the main reason they prefer a company stock award over
    cash, 55 percent of employees indicated they feel their company stock
    will be worth more than if they invested a cash award.
  • Employees are almost three times more likely to sell company stock
    than borrow against their 401(k) if they have sudden need for cash.
    Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents indicated they would
    sell company stock to raise cash, versus 23 percent that would tap
    their retirement savings account.
  • When asked how they feel their company stock will perform, nearly
    one-quarter (23 percent) of employees feel the value of their company
    stock will increase substantially in the next 1-3 years, a slight
    increase from 21 percent in 2016.
  • Employees are holding company stock, but not too long. Over one-third
    (36 percent) of respondents held their stock between seven and 24
    months before selling, an increase from 29 percent in 2016.

“The results of this year’s survey really underscore the fact that the
role of company stock continues to evolve and increase in importance in
the eyes of employees, as well as play an increasingly important role in
employees’ overall financial wellness,” added Cervino.

About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better
outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under
administration of $6.7 trillion, including managed assets of $2.4
trillion as of December 31, 2018, we focus on meeting the unique needs
of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 28 million people
invest their own life savings, 23,000 businesses manage employee benefit
programs, as well as providing more than 13,000 financial advisory firms
with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’
money. Privately held for more than 70 years, Fidelity employs more than
40,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our
customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.

Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment
will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC
900 Salem
Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company, Inc.,
500
Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

National Financial Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC,
200 Seaport
Boulevard, Boston, MA 02110

875631.1.0

© 2019 FMR LLC. All rights reserved.

1 Survey conducted for Fidelity by CMI of 2,932 stock plan
participants, both US (total: 1,448) and international (total: 1,484).
CMI sent invitations and up to two reminders between March 15 and May
10, 2018. Surveys were collected through May 20, 2018.

Contacts

Follow us on Twitter @FidelityNews
Corporate
Communications
(617) 563-5800
fidelitycorporateaffairs@fmr.com

Mike Shamrell
(617) 563-1996
michael.shamrell@fmr.com

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