Women and their Financial Power

Women and their Financial Power

By 2030, American women are expected to control much of the $30 trillion in financial assets that baby boomers will possess—a potential wealth transfer of such magnitude that it approaches the annual GDP of the United States. (McKinsey & Company)

Yet even the immense power of the purse is not enough to bring about the change women want and need. 

At worst, women are preyed upon – and at best, underserved – by a financial system built by and for men. 

Further, women globally are locked in a systemic cycle of inequity that keeps them from accessing education, building businesses, achieving safety, financial self-reliance, and a chance for self-actualization. 

With the growing acquisition of wealth, women are demanding to be in control of their assets, impact, and futures.

Although 70% of millennial women take the lead in all financial decisions (compared with just 40% of female baby boomers), the U.S. financial system continues to mass-produce products and perpetuate practices that separate women from their own wealth and assets, and this includes the full measure of influence and impact of their philanthropy.


This decade will see women continue to press for greater financial control, fostered by financial acumen and experience, as women are poised to take the reins of their financial and philanthropic power.  


Here are the shifts to expect:


Changing Financial Systems

Now: Women plead for permission from estate lawyers and trustees to mobilize and use their own assets. Financial systems seek to co-opt women into systems not built for them.

What’s changing: Women will continue to part ways with systems that do not serve them, and make decisions to exert more control over choices made with their wealth.  And they will seek advisors that serve their needs instead of accepting what is.


Purposeful Philanthropy 

Now: Although women face advisory and financial gatekeepers keeping them from the full extent of the impact and influence they seek, women are changing the face of philanthropy. 

What’s changing: Women are gaining control of their assets in ways that align with their desires, purpose, and values, and doing the work to make informed decisions with trusted partners.  Women invest and give differently with a penchant towards being in community and building trust.

Women will continue to create and engage in effective philanthropy, asking: How can this change? What are the root causes? Where is the purpose and the joy in giving – not simply portfolio ROI – but what is the full picture of impact?


Greater Opportunity & Agency

Now: Women continue to be oppressed, and are excluded from opportunity. 

What’s changing: Women are funding organizations, movements, and research, so laws can be enacted to protect and support women, and barriers to entry removed for women all over the world.

“We can’t innovate our way to a new future without addressing structural inequities in the design of any solution. And we can’t do this effectively without focusing on power: who has it, who doesn’t and why.” – Joy Anderson, Criterion Institute 


Decision-making power and the control of women-owned assets will not simply land in our laps. 


Women who have access to influence and resources, including financial power, can leverage those resources toward better health care, education, and opportunity for all women and girls.

Keep your eye on power: who has it, who doesn’t, and who is working to change the dynamics.