As a professional woman in her late 30s, Kate Packard was keen to start investing. Like many novices, her enthusiasm took a knock when she hit a wall of impenetrable jargon — and was all but killed off by “mansplaining” from the men around her. “They’ll be like, ‘Money is green! And it’s paper!'” said the strategic communications manager from Sterling, Virginia. “Yes, thanks, I can get there on my own.” To do so, the 38-year-old turned to one of a growing number of groups run by women, for women — to help bridge the gender gap when it comes to investment. Women are significantly less likely to invest in the market than men: based on studies from 2016 and 2017, the micro-investing app Acorns found 57 percent of women don’t invest at all, versus 44 percent of men. Over a lifetime, that can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income — and can hit particularly hard in countries like the United States, where wise investment can make the difference between hardship and comfort in retirement. Confidence is key: 61 percent of women in the Acorns study felt they had a low level of understanding when it came to investing, compared to 43 percent of men. “For the novice, it’s really intimidating,” said Pamela Sams, a financial advisor in Herndon, Virginia, who hosts regular group meetings for women like Packard who want to better manage their finances and investments.