An abundance of evidence exists that wealth and income disparity between men and women in America is still a real concern.
In general, women make less money over the course of their careers than men. For every dollar that U.S. men make on average, women make about 80 cents. When you consider race, the gap widens even further. (White male $1 = Latina woman 54 cents).
Also, single women are more likely than single men to have the financial burden of custodial parenthood. And a lot of women enjoy less wealth-building fringe benefits. Add to that the fact that women live longer than men on average, putting a strain on women’s retirement funds.
OK, we know all that. It’s becoming a bit of a broken record.
However, the tide is certainly shifting, and there is evidence of this change. More successful women are out-earning their male partners (the stay-at-home-dad is now a thing), and pay-equality between professional counterparts is equalizing.
In a much-publicized Emmy acceptance speech, actress Michelle Williams spoke out against the gender pay gap in Hollywood saying, “The next time a woman — and especially a woman of color, because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white, male counterpart — tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her.”
And while Hollywood leads the way for women (in more areas than just financial equality) other industries are charging forward as well. In the sports world, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team has long been associated with leading the way in the fight for gender equity in soccer. Alongside them in the battle are multiple other women’s sports organizations and individuals who are getting mixed results, but victories are being claimed—notably the move by the World Surf League to equalize prize money for male and female athletes.
On a more esoteric note, you are not how much you earn, and your financial life isn’t always about how much you are worth, but rather how intelligently you use the money that you do earn. Here’s where the gender gap takes a turn in favor of women. There are real differences between the sexes when it comes to trading and investing.
The conclusion is grounded in repeated findings that women tend to have lower financial risk tolerance than men and make smarter, more calculated decisions about their investments.
Several studies back up the claim that women investing in stocks are better at it than men. Why is that? Reports point to women investors' tendencies to 1) engage in less trading than men, and 2) buy and hold.
When it comes to financial decision-making, currently women are the ones who are in the majority when it comes to household purchases. Women make the decision in the purchases of 91 percent of homes. When it comes to buying cars or vehicles, 60 percent of those purchases had a woman who made the decision.
With all this information, it seems that a paradigm shift is on the way -- one that sees more women in more powerful roles when it comes to the economy, making smarter investing decisions, and smarter management of money.
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