Professional Partner Content

Financial Literacy and the Gender Gap

The gender pay gap has, rightfully, had a lot of attention in the last year. Here’s a quick overview: Globally, women make 63 percent of what men do. In the United States, the gap is 81 percent. That number is even lower when you look deeper into the pay gaps people of color face. Black women earn 61 percent of what white men do, Native American women earn 58 percent, and Latina women earn 53 percent.

In the September 3, 2019, edition of the Wall Street Journal, Lauren Silva Laughlin brought attention to another gap between women and men in the article “Financial Literacy Has a Gender Gap.” She introduces the reader to a heap of daunting facts and statistics:

• Only 23 percent of women take charge of long-term financial-planning decisions.
• Most married women defer to their spouse: 56 percent aged 20–34 and 54 percent older than age 51.
• Women are receiving the majority of college and graduate degrees and are carrying more student debt.
• Men receive financial help from their parents longer than women after age 30: 62 percent of men and 49 percent of women.
• More female seniors are living in poverty than males: 17 percent compared to 12 percent.
• Twice as many women as men in the United States have no money in the stock market.

Business leaders should keep in mind that if they are responsible for training others they should implement financial programs and ensure that women take advantage them. Educate the mentors in your organization about the inclination to talk to men about the financials. Boost the confidence of your employees by teaching them not to undervalue themselves and the work they are doing. If you are a woman, read books, listen to podcasts, and get advice. If a concerted effort is made, the financial literacy gap doesn’t have to take 202 years to dissipate.

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