5 Inspiring Facts that Show how Women and Money Will Shape the Future

March 07, 2019

We know when women are empowered to lead full lives, everyone benefits.

The past few years have been pretty big for Gender Equality. 

In 2016, we saw the first female candidate nominated for president by a major political party. 

Then, in 2017, the #metoo movement kicked off a national conversation about sexual harassment, sexual assault, and how we can create more welcoming and safe spaces for women, especially at work. (If you read the news, you know we’re still regularly discussing these issues today.) 

In 2018, we saw more women elected to political office than ever before, many running on platforms supporting Gender Equality

And this year, we’ve already seen a record number of women announce they’re running for President. 

These promising developments have built momentum toward creating a more just, equal society, one where women and girls have the freedom to meet their full potential.

But while there’s been a lot of progress, there’s also a lot of work to be done. In 2017, women only made up 38.3% of all directors on Fortune 500 companies. This is an all-time high, but that milestone still falls short of 50/50 representation. When it comes to pay, on average, women earn 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns, and the stats are worse for women of color. Additionally, the number of women chief executives fell by 25% in 2018. So, as we look to the future, it’s clear there are many opportunities to improve the lives of women and girls. 

Here at COIN, we believe that women are worth investing in, and have built our Gender Equality Impact Area to do just that. We look to include companies committed to gender pay equality, and companies striving to get equal percentages of men and women in senior management positions. We feature companies that have strong gender diversity programs and anti-discrimination policies. We seek out these types of companies to invest in, because we know when women are empowered to lead full lives, everyone benefits. 

In the spirit of moving forward and supporting greater equality, pay equity, and opportunity for women—and in honor of International Women’s Day—we rounded up five inspiring facts about women and money. Read on and get inspired to invest in women, now and in the years to come. 

1. By 2030, women will control 2/3 of private wealth

Nowadays, women have real economic power: According to a BMO Financial Group study, women are the breadwinners in more than 40% of U.S. households, a “almost four-fold increase since 1960”, and control more than 50% of personal wealth. That number is only expected to grow. In fact, a study from the Family Wealth Advisors Council estimates that women will control two-thirds of private wealth by 2030. 

What does this mean for the future? It means that, whether women earned their wealth, inherited it, or manage it for their spouse and/or family, they’re in somewhat new territory. As a group, women have never held this much wealth before, and can use this financial freedom to influence and build the world they want. Expect to see and hear more from women, politically, professionally, and personally, as this economic power only gets stronger over time.  

Speaking of ambitious women…

2. Women-owned businesses are growing more than 2 ½ times faster than the national average 

A 2017 study from American Express OPEN found that the number of women-owned businesses more than doubled over the past 20 years. Even more impressive, businesses owned by women of color grew by a whopping 467%! Additionally, women-led startups tend to be particularly strong businesses, compared to startups founded by men: The Boston Consulting Group found for every dollar of funding, startups founded by women generate 78 cents, compared to 31 cents for men-led startups. So when we look at the potential of new startups, we see women bring innovative and profitable ideas to the table. 

Yet despite these stats, we also know that, compared to men, women still struggle with being taken seriously and getting access to funding for their new businesses, which can impact their long-term earning potential. 

This is where investing can really make a difference… 

3. Women can close the wealth gap through investing

If you stay on top of the news, we’re guessing you’ve seen the data: Women continue to earn less than men. Women lose long-term wealth because they take time out of the workforce to care for children or other family members. Women tend to live longer than men, so they need to save more for retirement. And women tend to be less-confident investors.  

The silver lining? The data also shows that women are better investors than men, primarily because they practice better investor behaviors: Women get better returns on their long-term investments because they tend to take on the right level of risk, save higher percentages of their income, and leave their money in the market longer than men do, three strategies that can literally pay off. So, if women get started with investing and keep investing, they have the potential not only to offset their earning gaps over time, but also to gain financial savvy and confidence as their wealth grows. This can really help women if they experience pay discrimination, have limited funding sources for new ventures, or simply want the freedom to make their own choices on their own schedules. 

And since we’re talking about income… 

4. By 2028, the average American woman is expected to out-earn the average American man

Those statistics showing that women earn less than men? Not much longer! Additional research from the Boston Consulting Group estimates that as women continue to become more educated, they’ll earn higher incomes. “As women age and grow in their careers,” the study notes, “the overall gap between women and men will continue to shrink.” By 2028, it’s expected that the average American woman will earn more than the average American man.

This has big potential for positive change. When women earn more, they can do more. They have more purchasing power, and more autonomy to live the lives they want. With more money, they can afford to take more risks, like launching a new startup, or pursuing big goals, like establishing a charitable foundation. 

And for the last inspiring fact about women and money… 

5. 2/3 of women believe they have more opportunity to tackle societal issues through impact investing, compared with just over 1/2 of men

When asked about the “meaning of wealth”, two-thirds of women who participated in a recent survey from RBC Wealth Management said that money could be a way to make a difference in the causes they care about. Slightly more than half of surveyed men feel the same way. This means that the majority of wealthy women are taking a big-picture view of their money: They aim to build their personal financial futures, while also giving back. 

In fact, 70% of high-net-worth Millennial women surveyed “see impact investing as a form of giving”, and 39% of younger women align their investments with the causes they care about. And because of this mindset, as more Millennial women grow in their careers, earn more, and invest more, the potential for real social impact grows stronger.

So, how can you contribute to this positive momentum? One way you can support women’s continued wealth and prosperity is by choosing to invest in companies that support equal pay policies and promote female executives, are dedicated to mentoring and career-growth opportunities for women, and make it a point to help women save for retirement. If you’re unfamiliar, this is conscious investing, where you choose to make a difference with your money while you fund your own future. You can learn more here.

We have come a long way, and we have a long way to go. But as the facts show, when it comes to finances, the future is female. Here’s to more earning power, economic leadership, and overall financial empowerment for women!