Dear Data, You make decisions easy. To buy or sell? To invest or spend? So let’s have your numbers speak up more loudly when it comes to financial equality. Despite numerous studies that show that women are underrepresented in financial fields and that their presence adds value in monetary terms, businesses are often just giving lip service to the issue. They create a Diversity & Inclusion Team that meets regularly, has mid level decision members in attendance but is slow to actually make change. These D & I teams, too, are vastly underbudgeted. This is far more than a social issue — it’s a problem with financial, legislative, risk management, and talent retention implications. What’s more, giving women the tools to navigate through their personal finances is more important than ever. A record 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis. The share was just 11% in 1960. Very few teachers, schools, parents are talking to girls about money. And in popular culture, which the girls digest on a daily basis, the messages about money are on how to spend it, not save it. Here’s an idea…let’s use data to get the financial services industry moving on getting more women interested in pursuing finance whether for their personal budgetary purposes or for entering the profession. We can help:
- Our organization collects data and tracks the success of our workshops utilizing a variety of methods. This includes pre and post tests of participants; measurement of those students who state they have a serious interest in pursuing a major/minor in finance/economics or business; student surveys regarding the quality of our programming and instructor surveys.
- Program outcomes are measured in real numbers identifying the number of girls served, program locations and the number of female financial professionals who volunteer. The more high school girls we serve, the better off their families and communities are now and for years to come. There will be more young women who become financially independent allowing for those girls to have more choices throughout the rest of her life.
- Pre and post tests are administered to girls who participate in our workshops to identify how much they have gained from the workshops provided to them. In 2016, there was an average increase of 70% in student comprehension of financial concepts across all schools in all cities. In addition, 72% stated they were “extremely likely or very likely” to explore a college major in finance or economics.
We urgently need to equip girls with the tools for financial management to ensure the economic prosperity of women, families, and communities across the country. Women will never gain full equality if they don’t have financial equality. Sincerely, Rock The Street, Wall Street