By Kara I. Stevens
Earlier this month, I attended a Morgan Stanley workshop called, “Women and Wealth” to increase my financial acumen and because, as you know, personal finance and empowerment are passions of mine.
Headed by the Urban Girl Squad, the workshop covered the basics as it relates to savings, money management, and retirement. Their message, like any personal finance blogger, a good friend, or financial adviser with a lick of sense would tell you, was clear: Start saving early; live within your means; ask questions when you do not know.
What is less talked about or conventionally understood in deep way, however, is the amount of financial responsibility women will encounter throughout the course of their lives. Financial responsibility does not always translate into financial power because of entrenched systemic discrimination on one part and our reluctance, as a group, to inform and empower ourselves in the ways of finances.
But workshops like these try to educate and inspire women to action by giving the raw data on their financial power globally and in the household.
Here are five facts about women’s contribution to wealth creation, household finances, and global economic influence, including some of our successes and some of our challenges:
1. Women control nearly one-third of all investable assets worldwide. (Corporate Executive Board. VIP Forum. Understanding the High-Net-Worth Women Segment 2010)
2. $2.8 Trillion is the total direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of majority women-owned businesses in the US in 2008, equaling 16% of U.S. jobs (National Women’s Business Council Fact Sheet, January 2010).
3. Full-time working women earn just 79.9% of what a man earns according to the US Department of Labor (2009)
4. On average, women spend 15% of their career out of the workforce to care for children or parents (National Association of State Treasurers Foundation, “Tomorrow’s Money”, 2011)
5. As household decision makers, women decide on 92% of all vacations, write over 80% of all personal checks, make 80% of all home improvement decisions, and determine over 89% of new bank relationships. (Women’s Rising Power in Travel Decisions, hotmule.com, July 2010)
For those of us that still think that handling money is a man’s job, here are the statistics and reality to tell you differently!
About the Author, Kara I. Stevens
Kara I. Stevens is super stoked to be a member of the NYULYP Communications Committee. By day, she is an educational administrator. By night, she attends to her blog, FabulousNFrugal, an online home for “financial empowerment, mindful spending, and juicy living.”