Why YOU Need to Invest in Women
By Wendy Wan Turk
I always grew up with the mentality that anything you can do, I can do better. Maybe it’s because I was always competitive by nature. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, and it’s just a true statement, though you’d never know it by looking at women’s inequality in today’s society. Still, in the United States, women only make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes*. There are only 24 female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies.
As feminist as I maybe, I don’t think women should deserve equality just because it’s fair. I think of it a different way - we should invest in women because, quite frankly, it’s the best investment you can make.
Women comprise a growing (and invisible) workforce
From 1979 to 2012, the proportion of full-time working women increased from 28.6% to 40.7%. Working mothers increased from 27.3% to 44.1%, all creating $1.7 trillion in economic output that otherwise wouldn’t have been created*.
More women have entered the workforce and have been waiting longer to get married and have children. For those who have left the workforce, many stay home to raise families. However, women don’t step back from work because they have rich husbands; they have rich husbands because they step back from work*. Women’s choice not to work allows their partners, typically men, the flexibility to prioritize their own work, creating more earnings for the household than would otherwise be produced.
And all this only counts the actually paid labor women produce. Women, on average, spend about twice as much time on household chores or unpaid labor when compared to male counterparts—28.4 hours per week versus 17.5 hours per week. Using average wages, this would amount to $40,000 more per year of unpaid labor that working mothers. Take away all this unpaid labor, and who ends up footing the cost?
Women are the purchasers
When is the last time my husband bought the groceries, or the kids’ shoes, or the birthday presents? In 2018, women are anticipated to have an income of $18 trillion worldwide—that’s nearly the GDP of the entire United States ($21.3 trillion)!
Women drive 70-80% of consumer purchasing and are responsible not only for individual decision-making but also for their immediate household needs and the needs of their extended family as well.* Consumer spending is the single most important driving force of the U.S. economy, comprising 71% of the US GDP, and women contribute over $7 trillion in consumer and business spending.
According to a Virginia Tech survey, women hold 60% of all household wealth, and 51% of all US stocks. Within the next decade, over 2/3 of all wealth will belong to women, especially as they continue to outlive men. In fact, senior women, ages 50+, have a combined net worth of $19 trillion and growing*.
Women are smarter
At least women are outpacing their male counterparts in something—education. As of 2018, 56% of all college students are women, and women between the ages of 18-24 earned 67% of all Masters’ degrees, 75% of all professional degrees, and 80% of doctoral degrees. The big disparity arises from the subject/major these degrees are awarded in, which are typically more female and lower-paying, on average, such as the arts and humanities.
Women are just plain better
Through chants of “Equal Pay!,” the United States Women’s National soccer team secured their fourth World Cup this summer in a dominant performance. Leading up to the World Cup, members of the team sued the US Soccer Federation for discrimination "for substantially equal work and by denying them at least equal playing, training, and travel conditions; equal promotion of their games; equal support and development for their games; and other terms and conditions of employment equal to the MNT [Men’s National Team]. Just as the US Women’s soccer team contends, women drive revenue, generating $1.9M more in revenue than men’s games, at $50.8M from 2016 to 2018 compared to $49.9M from men’s games*.
Not drive more business, they are also better investors and decision-makers. In several studies by Warwicks Business School, Hargreaves Lansdow, and Fidelity, women investors consistently outperformed male investors, anywhere from 0.81% - 1.8% better than men. Over a 30-year time frame, that can account for a difference of over 27%!* Women tend to be more risk-conscious, more diverse, and long-term in vision, all contributing to their success.
Women also make better corporate leaders. Companies that have more women on their board of directors have better results, with more female representation leading to 53% higher return on equity, 66% higher return on invested capital, and 42% higher return on sales. Having just one woman on the board of directors cuts a company’s risk of bankruptcy by 20%. Women tend to use cooperation, collaboration, and consensus-building more often and more effectively to make sound decisions*.
By investing in women and with women, not only will we create a more equitable society, but we’ll be sure to profit too.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA (http://www.finra.org/)/SIPC (https://www.sipc.org/). Investment advice offered through Gerber Kawasaki Inc, a registered investment advisor. Gerber Kawasaki and Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management are separate entities from LPL Financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which course of action may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor. No strategy assures the success or protects against loss.
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