At Ellevest, we believe everybody deserves the opportunity to build wealth. But that’s not actually our mission. Our goal is very specifically to get more money in the hands of women+. That’s because women and non-binary people face very real challenges with their money and career — yes, in 2020 — and we built Ellevest to help them with those challenges.
Here are more than 60 stats that tell the truth about women+ and money in 2020.
Women+ at work
The story starts with some facts most of us have heard already: Women+ face gender wage gaps throughout their careers. Workplace bias and lack of access to business funding also show up in our paychecks.
The gender pay gap, average pay to a man’s dollar: 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. (We don’t have reliable stats yet about non-binary people’s pay gaps.)
Higher education levels make the wage gap wider: The average pay to a man’s dollar for women with a college degree is 74 cents.
Women on average reach their peak earnings at age 44. Men keep climbing for much longer and reach their peak earnings at 55.
Due to these pay gaps, women on average lose some $900,000 over a 40-year career, according to a recent estimate.
Progress toward closing the wage gap has stalled. It was closing rapidly through 1995, but has been relatively flat since.
When you look at earnings over 15-year periods, the wage gap is even wider. Women made just 49% of what men did on average, due to career breaks.
Women see wages drop after having a child, men do not: Mothers on average are paid 71 cents to every dollar paid to fathers.
One out of every four women has a disability; on average, people with disabilities are paid 37% percent less than non-disabled people.
Women ask for raises as often as men but don’t get them. In one study, women who asked for a raise got one 15% of the time, while men got raises 20% of the time.
For every 100 men promoted and hired to a manager level, only 72 women are promoted and hired. So men end up holding 62% of manager jobs.
Only 37 of the CEOs on the Fortune 500 list are women … and that’s a record high. There are zero Black or Latinx women on the list, and zero non-binary people.
Meanwhile: Companies with more women in executive leadership are more profitable.
Women also make better overall leaders as rated by their colleagues.
Companies run by women received 2.7% of all venture capital funding in 2019 … and that’s a record high.
Businesses led by Black women were given .0006% of the $424.7 billion raised in venture capital since 2009.
Minority-owned businesses (women and people of color) are three times as likely to be denied loans.
Before the pandemic, trans and gender-nonconforming people were unemployed at twice the rate of the general population; the unemployment rate for trans and gender non-conforming people of color was four times the general population.
90% of trans and gender-nonconforming people experienced harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination on the job or hid who they are to avoid it.
47% of trans and gender non-conforming people had an adverse job outcome like being fired, not hired, or denied a promotion because of their identity.
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.
Women+ and wealth
Those wage gaps, plus bias that starts in childhood and a lack of representation in the financial services industry all lead to staggering wealth gaps for women+ — especially Black, Latinx, and trans women and non-binary people.
Wealth disparities start very early in life: Parents pay kids identified as boys twice as much allowance as they do their kids identified as girls.
And it continues in the culture: In one study, 65% of financial articles aimed at women told them that they are “excessive spenders.” They encouraged women to find bargains and coupons and control splurges. Articles aimed at men told them to dare to invest and spend to increase their power.
Single women pay more for mortgage loans and are denied them more frequently than single men or couples. Single women borrowers are more likely to be people of color.
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.
Five times more women than men live paycheck to paycheck, without an emergency fund.
Non-binary people and trans women are four times more likely to live in extreme poverty than the population as a whole.
The pink tax (being charged more for the same products marketed differently) costs women an average of $1,531 a year.
99% of investment management firms are owned by white men, 88% of senior fund managers are white, more than 70% of junior professional investors are white. Women make up only 8% of investors.
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.
Women are 80% more likely to be impoverished in retirement.
Black women retire with less money than white women.
No wonder more women than men (65% vs. 52%) say money is their #1 source of stress!
By the way, in several studies, women were shown to be more successful investors than men were.
Women are also more likely to repay loans.
Even with less money, though, women give more to nonprofits on average than men do.
The pandemic hit women+ harder
This time around, the worst-hit industries are those that can’t be done virtually, and they’re dominated by women: travel, education, health services, and retail.
May unemployment rates: 14.3% for women overall, 17.2% for Black women, 19.5% for Latinx women, and 11.9% for men.
Women have accounted for 55% of job losses so far during the recession.
The number of Black-owned businesses in the US was down 41% from February to April due to the shutdown.
Essential workers are more likely to be women, and particularly Black and Latinx women. One in every three jobs held by women has been deemed “essential.”
Since the pandemic began, women are being hired less: Share of all new hires has dropped from 47% pre-COVID to 45% post-COVID.
In a survey conducted by Ellevest, 92% of women earning less than $50,000 a year have realized through the pandemic that they need to build their own financial safety nets.*
Through this pandemic, women are spending an average of seven more hours per week than men on childcare and five more hours on caring for the sick and elderly. Most women are also spending at least seven more hours than men on housework. More than 75% of Latinx and Black women are spending 21 or more hours per week on housework, compared to 55% of white women.
Only 18% of employed women say their company has reduced their scope or adjusted their priorities to account for the impact of childcare. Less than a third say someone from their company is checking in to see if they’re doing OK.
While we don’t have data on leadership through the recession yet, studies suggest that during a crisis, companies are less likely to care about diversity policies.
Wealth inequality is getting worse overall
These stats don’t live by themselves — they are part of an economy that’s getting more and more unequal. Class makes the struggle of many women+ even worse. Class and race are intersectional.
Income inequality is growing: The top 1% of earners account for 20% of the total US income. Meanwhile, 50% of the bottom earners account for only 13% of total income.
When adjusted for cost of living, wages haven’t budged in decades, except for the very top earners.
On average, Black Americans earn 75.6 cents for every dollar of white American wages.
In 2018, 72% of white households owned homes, compared to 41% of Black households and 47.5% of Latinx households. In 1960, that ratio was 65% to 38%. In other words, the home ownership gap is wider now than it was when redlining was legal.
60% of white US households hold stocks, which is double that of Black US households.
60% of white families also have at least one retirement account, while only 34% percent of Black families do.
The median Black family in the US has about one-tenth the wealth of the median white family.
We could go on. And we will — we update the research we use regularly. The hope is to find better data on under-studied groups and more intersectional gaps. We know they exist, and we’ll keep looking. We’ll update these stats as we find more data.
All women, non-binary people, and anyone else who identifies as underrepresented because of their gender identity. The vast majority of the research available is binary: (cis) men vs (cis) women. We've noted where it isn't.
Details for data nerds: The Ellevest 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic Survey (aka the “survey”) was sent on May 16, 2020 by Ellevest to all subscribers to Ellevest’s What the Elle newsletter, Money Cheat Sheet edition. 3,300 people responded to the online survey. The majority of respondents were in their 30s, with 25% under the age of 30 and 30% over the age of 40. 25% of respondents reported earning less than $50,000 a year. 37.7% reported earning between $50,000 and 75,000 a year, with the rest earning over $75,000. Not all questions were answered by survey participants, FYI. They do that sometimes.
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