W.I.S.E. stands for Women Inspiring Strength & Excellence. It is one of PetSmart's Associate Resource Groups whose mission is to gather associates with an interest in advancing women’s career growth. When women excel, PetSmart excels! Hear from PetSmart's VP of Proprietary Brands, Regan, on women and investing.
This summer got me thinking, and so did my TikTok feed. Enter Girl Math. I’m not sure how it started or what exactly it’s morphed into by now, but social media seemed to only be talking about how bad women are with money. Meanwhile, on the other side of social media, I was getting inundated with some super powerful women seemingly winning at Girl Math. Enter Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Barbie. Who, from my vantage point, seemed to be having their best summer yet.
It got me thinking – Why such polarizing representations of women and money, or women and wealth, or women and math, and why should I really care? Is there something I could be doing about it besides endlessly scrolling on TikTok…?
I decided to explore what I thought was something simple, which turned out to be a lot more eye-opening than I was expecting.
DID YOU KNOW?
Women are managing more wealth than ever before – about $10 Trillion, or a third of total US household financial assets. And our financial influence is about to surge. Over the next decade, American women are expected to control much of the $30 trillion in financial assets that baby boomers have. And research shows that people with a financial plan have 3x the net worth of those who don’t.
YET ONLY 36% OF WOMEN SAY THEY’RE INVESTING VS 63% OF MEN.
Women are managing more wealth than ever before, about 10 trillion, or a third of total US financial assets.
Research shows that people with a financial plan have 3x the net worth of those who don't.
Just 36% of women say they're investing in general. (vs 63% of men). Despite data that shows women outperform their male couterparts on average by 0.4%.
SO, WHY SHOULD WE BE INVESTING OUR MONEY?
Women live about 6 years longer than men.
Women represent 2/3 of caregivers and often have career gaps.
Women earn $0.83 for every dollar a man makes.
Women on average, reach their peak earnings at age 44. Men keep climbing for much longer and reach their peak earnings at 55.
Women see wages drop after having a child, but men do not: Mothers on average, are paid 71 cents to every dollar paid to fathers.
Due to these pay gaps, women on average, lose some $900,000 over a 40-year career, according to a recent estimate.
Women spend an average of two hours a day on unpaid labor like care work, child care, and domestic chores. That’s 95 eight-hour workdays or almost five months of work.
The pink tax (being charged more for the same products marketed differently) costs women an average of $1,351 a year.
Women hold 71% of their assets in cash (aka not investing to build wealth), vs 60% held by men.
Women, on average, retire with two-thirds the money that men do.
Money is not just money. It’s far more. It's our future; it's our dreams; it's our autonomy; it's our hopes for our family; it’s our catalyst for making a societal impact. In fact, MONEY IS POWER. Money can be the power to live the lives we want. Let’s all flip Girl Math on its head and use this booming summer of women generating wealth as a reminder that nothing should get in the way of taking control of the financial situation and decision-making. When I first started investing, I was anxious. I didn’t know what to say or if I’d be criticized for waiting or not investing more, or, or, or….so I asked nervously, am I behind? And the best advice I got that day:
“The best day to start investing is yesterday, but today works too.”
How to get started? You (and only you!) have all the ingredients for creating the financial life you want.
A desire to take control of your finances.
An understanding of how much you make and how much you’re currently spending, saving, and investing.
Your core values (which guide financial decisions, including tradeoffs)
What area of your finances needs attention.
What a happy, satisfying life looks like for you, today and in the future — you’re still going to be you when you’re 65!
WOMEN TO INSPIRE YOU
Muriel Siebert was the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. After that milestone purchase in 1967, she went on to start her own brokerage firm and later donated millions to help other women get their start in business.
Mellody Hobson started as an intern at Ariel Investments, the first Black-owned mutual fund and investment management firm in the US. Now, she's Co-CEO and President. She was named to Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015, and today, she serves as independent chair of Starbucks board of directors (and is an investor in Ellevest, Inc.)
Arlan Hamilton founded the VC fund Backstage Capital in 2015 with virtually no investing experience — and while being unhoused. Now, the firm has invested in over 200 companies led by founders who identify as women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ. In 2018, she co-founded Backstage Studio, which launched accelerator programs for founders in Detroit, LA, Philadelphia, and London.
Forbes: 5 Surprising Facts about Women and Investing
Women and Investing: How to Grow Your Wealth & Own Your Financial Future
60+ Stats About Women and Money
Written By: Regan MacLeod | Vice President, Proprietary Brands at PetSmart
If you’d like to learn more about the WISE ARG, or PetSmart's Belonging,
Diversity and Inclusion initiative, reach out to @LifeAtPetSmart on Instagram