According to the World Economic Forum, one of the shortest paths to a more equitable world for everyone is the economic empowerment of women–the removal of the social and legal barriers to higher education, entrepreneurship, workforce entry, and wealth-building that often hinder female financial success. It’s a tall order, as legal and political cultures vary wildly around the globe when it comes to the promotion of economic inclusivity.
However, in a time of global economic uncertainty, empowering women isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes fiscal sense for businesses and governments alike.
According to recent research by The United Nations and the Brookings Institution, the social and economic status of women is inextricably linked to the success (or failure) of a nation to thrive economically and to sustain that growth over time.
In regions of the world where women lag far behind men in education, wages, or workforce participation, economies tend to stagnate or decline. Investors earn less. Poverty and crime rates are higher. Infant and maternal mortality rates soar. Entrepreneurship dwindles. Economies that are less inclusive of its female citizens are almost invariably weaker than those where the wage and workforce participation gender gap is small, researchers state.
Since women often comprise more than half of the population, better access to economic opportunities for women translates into reduced unemployment, lower poverty rates, better health care access, higher productivity per capita, and an improved standard of living for the entire country.
5 Ways to Promote Financial Equality for Women
While the development of national policy directives to close the gender wage gap and reduce female poverty are the provenance of politicians and may take decades to produce lasting results, there are some simple steps that you can take today to create positive change in the economic lives of women globally.
Read More: Gender Pay Gap
1. Recognize the successes of female entrepreneurs
Female entrepreneurs generate nearly twice as much revenue per investment dollar than men do. One study by Boston Consulting Group revealed that investors lost $85 million in profits by ignoring promising female-led startups when choosing companies to fund. Want to support a female-led business one day? Share this post about investing intelligently to build wealth.
2. Promote STEM fields as a career choice for young women and mid-career professionals
Women now comprise 53% of the world’s STEM graduates and STEM salaries are some of the highest in the country. Most economists believe that the best way to create a more equal society is to improve educational opportunities for all, as graduates in high-demand fields generally enjoy a better quality of life overall. Want to support a woman interested in studying in a tech field? Share this post on using student loans to finance a college education.
3. Boost personal investment literacy
When women invest, they tend to get better returns than men. Some attribute women’s success to socialization–women tend to be more risk-averse and more focused on long-term rewards. Help a newbie investor find her feet in an uncertain market. Share this post on getting started with investing.
4. Develop an Arsenal of Financial Literacy Resources
Your credit score can impact everything from job prospects to the home you are able to purchase to how much you’ll pay for life insurance. Achieving and maintaining an excellent credit score is just one part of the financial success puzzle. Women tend to earn less than men and have poorer credit scores, so maximizing budgets and long-term financial strategy is especially important. While women tend to earn more from their investments, only 9% of women believe they are financially savvy. Financial literacy can transform women’s lives, empowering them to get the most out of their existing resources and opportunities.
Share resources Like Ellevest, a financial literacy hub for women, to help a woman you know get started on the path to financial independence. Ellevest provides a slew of tools and guides designed to help women build wealth, prepare for retirement, and get their financial houses in order regardless of their age or net worth.
5. Make financial learning effortless
Share our Money Toolbox with the best credit cards, podcasts, and investment tips for everyone who wants to transform their financial lives.
Interested in learning more about how to support economic inclusivity? Learn more about how to combat the gender wage and investment gap through conscious investing with Ellevest and discover a host of practical tips on investment, credit-building, and wealth management geared towards the unique needs of women.