If you haven’t seen the stats, according to The World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report, at the pace things are changing it will take more than 200 years for gender parity in the world. Seems pretty messed up to me.
Maybe this is why the theme for International Women’s Day 2018 is #PressForProgress.
Economic participation and opportunity is one of the four main areas looked at in this parity assessment. I see this as one of the most important. Studies have shown when women have increased economic empowerment there are amazing benefits for the economy as a whole, in addition to health care and education.
I’m more hopeful about the economic future of women…
I can’t get my head around it actually taking more than two centuries for economic parity – here’s why I’m more optimistic:
- In the US currently 51% of the wealth is controlled by women and this number is growing. Worldwide women control about 30% of the wealth. These percentages are growing each year.
- Approximately 50% of US women are the primary bread winners and two-thirds of households have women as the sole breadwinner or co-breadwinners. Yes, I won’t deny they are often still paid less than their male counterparts, but women are in the workforce in growing numbers. And, for younger women they are actually out-earning their male counterparts.
- Women are great philanthropists. According to research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at IUPUI women are more likely to donate than men. And, women give more to charity then men. Here’s another hopeful finding – women believe in giving to women’s and girl’s causes as a way to effect social change.
Be the change…
If you want to see a different future for yourself and other women here’s what you can do:
- Boost your financial confidence – women still lag behind men in financial confidence. Is that because men tend to be overconfident in general? I don’t know – but I want you to feel great about your financial future! Education is power – take 5 minutes a day to learn something new about your money or take care of a financial to-do.
- Systematize your charitable giving. No matter how scared you feel sometimes about your financial future you are better off than most of the world. So boost your giving. It will have you feeling wealthier (yeah, I know that doesn’t make logical sense but it’s true) and you’ll be using your money to effect change in areas you care about.
- Picture your prosperity and the prosperity of other’s as well. I’ve been accused of being Pollyannaish (by my mom) and relentlessly upbeat (by the NY Times). I’m perfectly fine with that. What good is it going to do to sit and be bummed out, thinking women will never close the gender gap? We have the ability to create a better world for all of us. Seeing this as a possibility is the first step.