How to Empower Women for Financial Success | Wealth inequality is a popular topic — especially when it comes to the gender wealth gap. The shocking statistic that women make $0.82 for every $1 a man earns shows a clear income discrepancy. Of course, this is exacerbated when you consider race. Black women only earn 63 percent of a white man’s wages for the same work.
The divide in wealth opportunities for women goes much deeper than a paycheck. There’s an expectation for women to earn and know less about money from the beginning. Even as children, boys earn double the allowance that girls do for their weekly chores.
When they grow up, women are more likely to be denied wealth-building opportunities like homeownership, though statistics show that they’re more likely to repay their loan when compared to men. Still, when women are approved for a mortgage they pay an average two percent more for their home than men and earn two percent less when they resell.
Systems like these that contribute to wealth inequality also impact women’s confidence in finances. One-third of women’s financial literacy gap is attributed to confidence levels — not an actual gap in financial knowledge.
Confidence is key in building financial equality regardless of gender and race. Here are some ways everyone can empower women to help close the wage gap and build wealth.
Start at School
Financial inequality and gendered expectations begin as children. This makes the classroom a valuable place to empower girls and set an even playing field.
Breakdown Gender Barriers
Present career and lifestyle options for your students without any gender expectations attached. This includes showing examples of men as teachers and caregivers, and women as engineers and agriculturists — industries with evident gender divides.
Of course, you should also show a variety of career opportunities that don’t require higher education or that can even be done from home. Showcasing a world of opportunities allows your students to choose a passion that suits their wants and needs best. Create real-life opportunities for students to explore these options and learn about careers and money to build confidence.
Invite Female Role Models
Ensure that your classroom curriculum is inclusive and showcases successful women in all of your lessons. Showing female role models in history and current events reinforces that women have opportunities in every industry and lifestyle and inspires students to be ambitious.
Create Lessons in Confidence
Include money in your curriculum to teach students basic financial literacy. Create interactive lessons to show how these lessons apply outside of the classroom and provide space for students to fail and learn in a safe environment.
Empower the Workplace
Financial inequality is a systemic issue, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an individual impact in your office.
Support Career Growth
Provide opportunities for your staff to grow with professional development and education opportunities. Education can propel a woman’s career, providing your employees with stronger financial stability and building female representation in leadership.
Promote Gender Equality
A lot of workplaces unknowingly contribute to gender inequality through pay discrepancies, leadership opportunities, and hiring biases. Create clear equality goals and performance indicators to report on and hold your office accountable.
Provide Pay Transparency
Pay transparency is the best way to avoid wage discrimination, though it looks different depending on your company’s culture. Audit pay and promotion processes to check for any biases and close the wage gap.
Financial inequality prevents women from building wealth and impacts their financial confidence. Support your local women’s organizations, donate to related causes, and take a look at your own office culture to make equal financial opportunities possible.
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