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Women's World Cup and Equal Pay: The Grass Ceiling

Women's World Cup and Equal Pay: The Grass Ceiling

The U.S. women’s soccer has now won four World Cups. Now can they score equal pay?

It’s amazing. Not just their playing—but that this team will take home only a fraction of the money that the losing U.S. men’s team will make, simply because they are women. 

For years, the arguments and excuses for this unequal pay have been that women don’t generate as much revenue. Untrue. These athletes generate more revenue and garner higher tv ratings than the men’s team. Yet each top-tier women’s national player will earn only 38 percent of the compensation of a comparable men’s player.

The prize money for this year’s Women’s World Cup is $30 million. The last men’s World Cup had $400 million.

Here’s a look at the stats:

USWNT
• 4 World Cups
• 4 Olympic Golds

USMNT
• 0 World Cups
• 0 Olympic Golds

Fans in the stadium signaled their support after the World Cup with a resounding chant of, “Equal pay! Equal pay!” But what will it take to move the needle on this long overdue issue of women’s economic rights?

Lawsuits filed with the EEOC and complaints to FIFA are starting to crack the grass ceiling. But what we’ve learned from women’s movements is that the power lies in numbers. We need to keep up the pressure.

If you’re looking to support organizations working to level the playing field for women in sports and demand equal pay, check out:

And if you’re inspired to do more, also check out Athlete Ally, supporting LGBTQI+ athletes, and Soccer Without Borders, expanding access to soccer in underserved communities.

 

The prize money for this year’s Women’s World Cup is $30 million. The men’s 2018 World Cup had $400 million. The last time the women’s team won, the three-time world championship winning team received $1.725 million for winning the 2015 World Cup. That was just one-third of the $5.375 million that the US Soccer awarded the men’s team for losing in the 16 round of the Men’s World Cup.”

 

Here’s a look at the stats:

 

USWNT
•4 World Cups
•4 Olympic Golds

USMNT
•0 World Cups
•0 Olympic Golds

 

Fired up? There’s something you can do about it. Support organizations working to level the playing field for women in sports and demand equal pay. Check out the Guerreira’s Project (led by women athletes in Brazil); the Women’s Sports Foundation (founded by Billie Jean King); and Athletes for Hope. 

 

(And if you’re inspired to do more, also check out Athlete Ally, supporting LGBTQI+ athletes, and Soccer Without Borders, expanding access to soccer in underserved communities.)

What Is Gender-Lens Investing and How Is It Different Than Philanthropy?


What is Gender-Lens Investing, and How Is It Different Than Philanthropy?

One of the most common questions I receive is about gender-lens investing; what is it, and how is it different than philanthropy?

We know that women have been investing in the lives of other women for centuries, but over the last ten years, the field of “gender-lens investing” has emerged as a subset of the more popular “social impact investing” field, which usually refers to any kind of investing that’s designed to have a positive social or environmental effect on the world.

Simply put, gender lens investing is an investing approach that deliberately incorporates a desire to make a difference in the lives of women and girls while meeting the risk/return objectives for an investment portfolio. 

Gender equity—along with other social equity themes that are core to creating a more equitable world, such as racial equity—may be a value that aligns with a donor or investors interests, making it a good strategy to deploy capital. In other words, gender-lens investing allows you to make a return on your investment while choosing investments that promote gender equity. 

The value proposition is simple: If you are already investing your money for a financial return, why not try to align those investments with your values?

What Does Gender-Lens Investing Look Like?

The market favors companies that are mostly started, owned and led by men. So gender-lens investing is, by definition, working toward leveling that playing field. While every investment firm is different, they seem to agree on three primary pillars of gender lens investing: 

1)    Increased access to capital for women; 

2)    Workplace equity; and 

3)    The development of products and services that benefit women and girls. 

These categories are not mutually exclusive, but different investment firms may focus on one more than others. 

We know, for example, that greater gender diversity on boards is a predictor of long term value creation and lower stock price volatility and that firms with a larger share of women in senior positions have significantly higher returns. We also know that women-led businesses face limited access to capital—just 3% of venture capital funding was raised by female CEOs last year, and the number was even lower for women of color. Thus, the strategies for gender-lens investing tend to consider the share of the board, founders, or senior management team that is female or whether products disproportionately benefit women. The aim is to increase the number of women-led companies and to deploy capital to businesses that promote gender equity or benefit women through products and services

As gender lens investing grows in popularity, those who now offer gender lens investing range from the fifth largest asset management firm worldwide (BNY Mellon Investment Management) to G7 development finance institutions, which have committed to collectively mobilizing $3 billion to improve women’s economic participation and access through employment, leadership opportunities and other services.

Gender-Lens Investing vs. Gender-Lens Philanthropy

Although the two concepts are sometimes conflated, they are not the same. They can go together nicely, though. Gender-lens investing is a way to generate a financial return by investing in businesses that in some way promote better gender equity practices. The ultimate goal of an investment portfolio is profit.

The goal of philanthropy, however, is about identifying a tough problem where your resources can make a real, tangible difference to people’s lives. Gender-lens philanthropy is about identifying persistent barriers that women and girls face around the world because of discrimination—access to education, access to health services, gender-based violence, etc.—and investing in strategies and programs that will make a real difference. The ultimate goal of gender-lens philanthropy is to shift resources to where they are most needed so that women and girls—and their communities--can have opportunities to live better lives.

Investing in the stock market is not the same as investing in specific strategies to improve the lives of women and girls, including driving policy and advocacy in order to create ripple effects of healthier families, healthier communities, and healthier nations. But the two strategies may go hand in hand. Gender lens investing may be a great vehicle to build the capital to be able to invest in those solutions.

 

For more on this, read: What’s Gender-Lens Investing and Why Is it Important? by Ellevest, and Social Equity Investing: Righting Institutional Wrongs

Giving Links Women Across Race and Ethnicity, New Study Shows

If you’re looking for evidence that women’s bonds transcend borders, race and ethnicity when it comes to giving, look no further that the report released today by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) called Women Give 2019: Gender and Giving Across Communities of Color.

The report, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is the first study to explore the intersection of race, giving and gender. The study shows that generosity is a value shared by all communities, and that women across race and ethnicity are leading through philanthropy.

As communities of color grow in wealth and influence, the study demonstrates the unique perspectives women of color bring to philanthropy and underscores the importance of understanding and engaging donors from diverse backgrounds.

Organizations like the Groundswell Fund, founded in 2015 by Vanessa Daniels, exemplify this perfectly, mobilizing millions primarily by communities of color for communities of color.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Households across all racial groups give. A substantial portion of all racial groups give to charity, and high net worth households are especially likely to give.

  • Households across all racial groups give to similar causes, including both religious and secular causes. Religion and basic needs are the top two causes supported across race and income.

  • A donor’s race does not have a significant effect on the amount given to charity, when taking income and other factors into account. When factors known to affect giving (such as wealth, income, and education) are taken into consideration, and giving is measured as a percentage of income, race does not appear to affect the amounts that households donate. Other demographics, such as income and wealth have a stronger impact on household giving amounts.

  • Overall gender differences in giving appear consistent across racial groups. For all groups, single women are more likely than single men to give to charity; married and cohabiting couples are more likely than either single men or single women to give to charity.

  • Formal volunteering shows greater racial and ethnic gaps. Communities of color appear to be less engaged in formal volunteering. Other research has shown that informal volunteering rates (giving time, but not via a formal program or organization) are higher in communities of color.

*Women Give 2019 uses data from both the Philanthropy Panel Study and from the U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy. Both studies are produced by the school. WPI also conducted case study interviews to supplement findings with real-life experiences of women philanthropists in communities of color. Across the board, the women described how their giving has been shaped by their racial and gender identities — and often by both at the same time.