As we close out March and celebrate Women’s History Month, I want to talk about how we as women have made great strides but also what we need to recognize and what challenges that we face.
On Today’s Thrive For[e]ward podcast we are going to touch upon three topics that affect the landscape of women financially, personally, and emotionally.
The pay gap and equal pay
The impact of caregiving
How women invest and how it’s changing the landscape
What are women dealing with from a financial standpoint right now?
This list might feel long based on what you carry on our shoulders and the number of responsibilities you hold. The reality is money touches every aspect of our lives so if we don’t touch upon this it can weigh everything else down.
When we address the pay gap we need to start talking and learning from one another. This continues to be an issue still today. The fact we are not at a time that we can all show up at the same job, at the same level of experience, and be paid the same is unfortunate.
According to the Women in the Workplace 2021 report, 90% of companies track women’s overall representation in the workplace but only 65% track gender differences in promotion rates.
Personally, I believe we need more transparency of what we make vs what we spend. We find that most men don’t have a problem sharing what they make but as women we have been taught to not share. We need a better understanding to go to the negotiation table.
Why does it matter?
Those experiencing pay discrimination lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime compared to their white male counterparts. One study showed that women lost $406,280, white women lost $555,360, and black women lost $964,400 over their working lifetime. And this gap is expected to rise post-pandemic. Source: The Pandemic and the Pay Gap in 2022 (Forbes)
I have found that we as women are sometimes afraid to ask for what we deserve and want. THIS is what holds us back from earning more. Studies show that women leave money on the table because we don’t ask.
What is the impact of caregiving?
Our second area of concern regarding the challenges women might be facing is in the area of caregiving. Many of you know my personal story with this and how this past month, raised additional caregiving needs with my grandmother.
Over 12% of parents are part of the sandwich generation, according to data from the Pew Research Center. Sandwich generation parents who are between 18 and 44 are spending about three hours per day on caretaking, compared with similar parents over 45, who do closer to two hours per day. This difference is likely because the younger parents also have young children. (Source: ‘It’s Pretty Brutal’: The Sandwich Generation Pays a Price)
Even during the pandemic, we found many women didn’t return to the workplace because they were caregivers for their parents, their children, and extended family.
This isn’t just a problem for U.S. families, however. The phenomenon of the Sandwich Generation is a global issue facing many adults. For instance, in Australia, the term “sandwich carer” applies to nearly 2.6 unpaid caregivers. And in 2012, a UK report stated that almost 2.4 million people combine childcare with care for their aging parents. (Source: The Sandwich Generation: The Ultimate Caregiver)
How do women invest?
I LOVE to see the change that women are making as they invest today! So much of what happens with women is that we crave safety and security and provide for those around us. These factors tend to impact what our risk appetite is.
But I have found that women can be smarter investors then men in some instances because they can see the long-term goal. That END GAME.
According to a Forbes article the gender gap in investing is starting to narrow. We see that 67% of women are starting to invest beyond their retirement. That is a 44% increase since 2018! I’m beaming with pride at this increase.
Realistically, we need to keep pace with inflation, and we won’t be able to do that unless we put some risk on the table. Investing doesn’t have to be a roller coaster ride.
As you think about all the responsibilities you have, investing can be a complex beast to attack and it’s a personal conversation. Women will invest more if they work with a professional and build a mutual beneficial relationship. I invite you to read Questions to Ask Your Financial Planner (Thrive For[e]ward Podcast)
If you are interested in learning more about Forethought Planning and how we can help you on your journey, please schedule an appointment to our complimentary 30 min Wealth Assessment session to learn more about how we incorporate these strategies and others to assist you through the financial planning process.
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