In honor of Women’s History Month, Top Dollar Financial Insights Hub examined the economic conditions and financial challenges women face in the United States. While changes in society over the last 100 years have led to significant advancements for women and wealth, data shows that there is still work to be done. Explore 50+ stats about women and wealth, including data about the gender pay gap, women in business, debt and retirement.
Stats About Women and Wealth
Women and The Gender Pay Gap
The gender pay gap is well documented and has been since 1944 when Winifred Stanley, a congresswoman from New York, introduced a bill titled Prohibiting Discrimination in Pay on Account of Sex. Since then, advancements have been made on behalf of women in the workplace, but the pay gap persists.
- Average pay to a man’s dollar by group: 86 cents for Asian women, 82 cents for women overall, 75 cents for white women, 61 cents for Black women, 58 cents for Native women, and 52 cents for Latinx women.
- Women reach their average peak earnings at 44 while men’s income increases until 55.
- On average, Mothers are paid 71 cents to every dollar paid to fathers.
- Women’s wages drop after having a child, while men’s do not.
- Women ask for raises as often as men do but get them less often. Women who ask for a raise get them 15% of the time, while men get raises 20% of the time.
- Thirty-nine days: Extra work per year for women to earn an equivalent amount of pay to men given the hourly wage gap.
- The peak average earnings for women ($66,700) are 34% lower than the peak average earnings for men ($101,200).
Women and Business-Ownership
The glass ceiling is a colloquial term used to describe the invisible social barrier that prevents women from advancing in business. The concept was first popularized in a 1986 Wall Street Journal article by Hymowitz and Schellhardt discussing the corporate hierarchy. Many women turn to entrepreneurship to achieve their financial goals.
- The US has 12.3 million women-owned businesses.
- US women-owned businesses generate $1.8 trillion a year.
- Women-led companies received 2.7% of all venture capital funding in 2019, a record high for this statistic.
- Black women who own businesses have received .0006% of the $424.7 billion raised in venture capital since 2009.
- 40% of US businesses are women-owned.
- Women started 1,817 net new businesses every day in 2019.
- Women of color started 64% of new women-owned businesses in 2018.
- Latina women-owned businesses grew more than 87% in 2018.
- There are 114% more women entrepreneurs than there were 20 years ago.
- 62% of women entrepreneurs cite their business as their primary source of income.
- Private tech companies led by women achieve 35% higher ROI.
- Women-founded companies outperformed companies founded by men by 63% in First Round Capital’s 2018 portfolio.
- Just 25% of women business owners seek business financing.
- Women-owned businesses added half a million jobs between 1997 and 2007.
- Women have a 69.5% success rate of crowdfunding for their businesses, while men have a 61.4% success rate.
- On average, women receive $5000 less in business loans than men do. (Men $43,916; Women $38,942)
Women and Debt
When women earn less, they may have to take on more debt to cover expenses like mortgages, education loans and living costs.
- Single women pay more for mortgage loans and are denied them more frequently than single men or couples.
- Women make up 57% of all higher education students, but they hold nearly two-thirds of the debt across all educational levels. Black women graduate with the most debt: $30,400, compared to $22,000 for white women and $19,500 for white men.
- More women than men (65% vs. 52%) say money is their primary source of stress.
- Women are also more likely to repay loans than men.
- Five times more women than men live paycheck to paycheck, without an emergency fund.
Women and Wealth
When it comes to women and wealth, spending and money management, women are treated differently by the media. Their capacity for building wealth isn’t assumed. Instead, the focus is placed on spending habits and lifestyle changes. For example, women are often encouraged to find bargains, use coupons and avoid risks. By comparison, articles geared toward men tend to focus on strategic risk-taking and investments.
Identity and intersecting identities are also a determinant when studying wealth, poverty and inequality. Despite disadvantages, women have proven themselves to be capable investors and more generous with their wealth than men.
- Parents report paying male children two times as much allowance as female children.
- 65% of financial articles written for women told them that they are “excessive spenders.”
- Non-binary people and trans women are four times more likely to live in extreme poverty.
- The pink tax (being charged more for products marketed to women) costs women an average of $1,351 a year.
- Women make up only 8% of investors, while white men own 99% of investment management firms.
- 88% of senior fund managers are white men, as are more than 70% of junior professional investors.
- Women keep 71% of their assets in cash (not invested in building wealth) vs. 60% by men.
- Despite disadvantages, several studies show women to be more successful investors than men.
- Despite having less money, women give more to nonprofits than men do.
Women and Retirement
Consistent shortfalls for women during their working years mean that they trail behind men in their readiness for retirement. Additionally, as caretakers, women’s work rarely ends in retirement, and those who are fortunate enough to retire from careers, continue to work in the home, caring for others.
- Women, on average, retire with two-thirds the money that men do.
- Women are 80% more likely to face poverty in retirement.
- Black women retire with less money than white women.
- 68% of women have a 401(k) or similar plan or outside the workplace, compared to 81% of men.
Women and Unpaid Labor
Unpaid labor includes domestic tasks, child care, and care work essential for families and households. While this work comes with no paycheck, it contributes value to our society and economy. Those who study the impact of unpaid labor on society estimate that women’s and girls’ value in the United States is $1.48 trillion annually. That’s more than twice the US defense budget.
- In the United States, women spend 37% more time on unpaid care work than men.
- On average, women spend two hours a day on unpaid labor like domestic tasks, care child care, and care work.
- In one year, two hours of unpaid labor a day adds up to an extra five months of work or 95 eight-hour workdays.
- 34.7: Hours per week worked by unpaid caregivers who have jobs in addition to caregiving.
- The value of unpaid labor by women and girls in the United States is $1.48 trillion annually, more than twice the US defense budget.
- 70%: Caregivers who suffered work-related difficulties due to their caregiving duties.
- 27%: Mothers who said they quit a job to care for a child or family member.
- 10%: Fathers who said they quit a job to care for a child or family member.
- 42%: Mothers who said they reduced work hours to care for a child or family member.
- 28%: Fathers who said they reduced work hours to care for a child or family member.
Progress for Women
Fixing the gender pay inequality, or closing the gap between what women and men make for the same work, lays a foundation for women and wealth in the future. The data shows the incredible progress that women have made over the past century and how much work is yet to be done to address inequity, especially at the intersections of race and gender.
Learn more about the invisibility of race in gender pay gap discussions.