"Who run the world? Girls."
Though we may have already believed this — because Beyoncé said it — now it has tangible data to back it up.
According to a new report by the Bank of Montreal's Wealth Institute, women have overtaken men and now control more than half of all U.S. wealth and will likely take an even larger slice of pie in the upcoming years.
To be exact, women now control 51% of American personal wealth, or about $14 trillion dollars in total. By 2020, BMO Bank estimates women will control around $22 trillion.
"Women have made incredible strides in the past fifty years and the wealth and power they hold will only increase in years to come," said Mary Jo Herseth, National Head of Banking, BMO Private Bank, in a press release.
The report goes on to highlight other major findings: Women are now the primary breadwinners in more than 40% of U.S. households, a nearly four-fold increase from 1960. Women also fill 52% of management, professional and related positions in the country. They own 30% of all private businesses in the United States, too, employing over 7.8 million Americans.
Despite these encouraging numbers, women still have a ways to go in terms of equality.
Women make 78% of what men make on average, according to the report, and women aged 25 to 34 earn 93 cents for every dollar that a man earns despite being on average even more qualified. Clearly, the glass ceiling is still very real: Women only account for 4.8% of CEOs at S&P500 companies.
Apart from society's general bias that keeps putting men in these high-powered positions, women face unique obstacles on their way to the top. 66% of primary caregivers in the U.S. are women, so 16% of them have taken a less-demanding job (compared to 6% of male caregivers). Women also get hid harder by rising health care costs (a 5% increase in 2014 alone) since they tend to live longer and, in general, take their health into their own hands more than men do.
"Equality is on the horizon yet many professional women still face obstacles, often stemming from the need to take care of loved ones while trying to achieve professional goals," said Herseth. "These challenges that affect women on a daily basis have both emotional and financial consequences."
Let's keep pushing in the same direction. It seems like we're doing something right.
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