The reality and perceptions of wealthy women are changing, as far as the attitudes of women (and men) who are–or could be–your clients. A Social and Demographic Trends study by the Pew Research Center, “Gender and Power,” asked participants about their preferences for several professions including “banker.” About 48% of women and men, “say they have no preference between a male or female banker.” But women bankers were preferred among those who do have a preference. And in some groups the preference for a woman as their banker was much higher–47% of blacks and Hispanics prefer a woman banker, according to the study.
A different Pew study, entitled, “Women, Men and the New Economics of Marriage,” reports a true gender role reversal going on in marriage in America. “Women have outpaced men in education and earnings growth,” the report says. In addition, “in the past, marriage enhanced the economic status of women more than that of men. Now the economic gains associated with marriage are greater for men.” The report explains: “Forty years ago, the typical man did not gain another breadwinner in his household when he married. Today, he does–giving his household increased earning power that most unmarried men do not enjoy. The superior gains of married men have enabled them to overtake and surpass unmarried men in their median household income.”
The report further points out that only 4% of women out-earned their spouses in 1970, but in 2007, 22% of wives had higher incomes than their husbands. While most married couples are equally educated–53% in 2007–28% of women, but only 19% of the men, were better educated than their spouses. In 1970, 52%of the couples were equally well-educated, but 28% of the men, and only 20% of women, were better educated than their spouses.
Women are holding more of the wealth–and purse strings