Think back to when you made that list of things you wanted to be when you grew up. Did any of the titles include the word billionaire?
Apparently, the answer is no for more women than I would like to admit. Last week, Forbes announced its list of the World’s Billionaires. Can you guess how many women it included? Wait. Even better, can you name five women that would be on that list? Me either. I came up with Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Blakely, and after that I was completely stumped.
Although more women have joined the ranks of the wealthy, there is still a long way to go. There were 1,426 people on the 2013 Forbes list and just 138 are women. That’s up from 104 women last year. New women billionaires include fashion designer Tory Burch and Hong Kong finance executive Pollyanna Chu.
We kicked-off Women’s History Month with the passing of the Violence Against Women Act. Let’s not stop there. Women and wealth should also be a part of the ongoing conversation. I love the emergence of new businesses like DailyWorth and Learnvest introducing easy everyday financial concepts in to the hearts and wallets of women. But I ask you- what will it take for more females to master the basics of budgeting so we can move on to building real wealth?
Nell Marino started Count Me In, an organization dedicated to mobilizing women business owners to reach the million dollar mark. The 2010 Census indicates that 75 percent of women-owned businesses reach $50,000 in annual gross revenues or less, and only 2.6 percent reported more than $1 million in annual revenues, compared to 6 percent of male-owned firms.
Jamie Tardy, host of the Eventual Millionaire podcast, interviews entrepreneurs with a million dollars in net worth to share their lessons with those who “eventually” want to make their million. Although she features an impressive line-up of business owners, very few are women.
Ladies, clearly we have work to do. Women today are focused on striving for more than financial success. I wonder, if women earned a dollar for every hour we committed to a cause, would there be more billionaires? Are we too busy saving the world to make a significant difference with our own bank accounts?
Today, women entrepreneurs are turning their passions into meaningful and financially sustainable businesses. Take a look at examples of women that are making the mark like Mica May of May Books. It is actually possible.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if more women started Soul Purpose Companies, lived their purpose and made more money to serve more people and create a bigger difference in the world? The future would surely be bright.
In the meantime ladies, let’s all thank Tory for showing the world it pays to be fashionable.
Photo from Tory Burch website