Closing the Gender Gap is an 'Economic Imperative': Charles Schwab Foundation President

March 21, 2019
2mo ago

By Amanda Weston

While women continue to make strides toward equality, the World Economic Forum says we still have to wait another 202 years to reach financial gender parity.

"When it comes to gender equity and finances, we're so behind," Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of the Charles Schwab Foundation, told Cheddar Thursday.

"Yet young women want to do all the right things. They desperately want to be financially independent. They're more likely to have second jobs. They're more likely to spend less, but they have less money than young men. So you know the math just doesn't work out."

Schwab-Pomerantz said a recent Schwab survey showed young men are 50 percent more likely to have financial or investment accounts than young women. But changing that starts at home, not at the office or the bank.

"We know that parents pay their boys more for the same chores than they do their girls," Schwab-Pomerantz said. "We know from our own research that parents talk to their sons differently than their daughters. With their daughters they talk about the short-term disciplines of money management, such as savings and household chores, or household finances. But with boys they talk about the longer term things such as investing, debt management, estate planning. So we really need to talk to our daughters just the same as our boys."

The same data from the WEF ranked Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as the top countries for overall gender parity.

The United States ranked 51st in 2018, dropping two spots from the year before.

"I think it's really important for companies, for parents, for all sectors of society to be really engaged on these differences," Schwab-Pomerantz said. "Because the bottom line is, it not only affects a young woman's life or a woman's life. It affects her children's lives, and really society as a whole. So it really is an economic imperative for our country to really try to close this gender gap."

For full interview click here.