Today we are here to talk about "othered" communities that, like women, are met with barriers and inaccessibility when it comes to money and finance. From the LGBTQ2S+ community, to people who are BIPOC, economic inequality is a very important issue that impacts groups of people in different ways, and needs to be addressed.
Here at Untangle Money, it is our mission to fight for gender equality, in the financial world and beyond, through empowering women financially and setting them up for financial success. We are an inclusive community that helps not just anyone who identifies as a woman, but anyone who doesn't feel safe or welcome in spaces typically dominated by cis men. We are dedicated to helping anyone who faces financial struggles because of their identities.
As we talked about in our very first blog post (here), women’s lives differ significantly from men’s, and traditionally, finance is centered around (predominantly white) men. The wealth gap demonstrates that for every $1 a man has in wealth, a woman has only 32 cents (less than a third of the wealth). For Black and Latina women, they only have 1 penny in wealth compared to the $1 of wealth for men. The wealth gap, or wealth inequality, is fueled by the unequal systems embedded in our society, which deny individuals an equal chance to participate in the economy. This is why it is so extremely important to understand financial accessibility through an intersectional lens, and why we want to discuss a couple “othered” communities of people and their access to finance with you today.
Let's dive in!
It has only been in the last few decades or so that more policies have been put in place on a workplace level and government level to provide protections for LGBTQ2S+ individuals in different countries around the world. Most of the world’s economy is set up or designed for cisgender heterosexual people, couples and families - and there just aren’t enough resources out there to help those who identify in the LGBTQ2S+ community. In addition, when you take into account intersectionality and the varying identities (sex, gender/non-binary, race, class, disability, etc.) these individuals may have, there is a lot that impacts their financial lives.
Here in Canada, the country has been known to be a trailblazer in providing employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation. Canada was also the first country outside of Europe to make same-sex marriage legal back in 2005. With that being said, there is still far to go here at home and around the world in terms of economic equality for the LGBTQ2S+ community.
According to the Williams Institute, in the U.S. women in same-sex couples have a median personal income of $38,000 vs. $47,000 for men who are in same-sex couples. For men in different-sex couples, their median personal income is $48,000. In a report for the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, it showed that 15 percent of transgender and genderqueer individuals live way below the poverty line (earning under $10,000/year). As well, those numbers rose to 28 percent for Lantinx and 34 percent for Black transgender and genderqueer individuals.
LGBTQ2S+ households, organizations, communities and individuals have unique financial needs and goals that need to be met. A great resource to check out for information regarding the LGBTQ2S+ wealth gap and the economic inequality for this community is LGBTQ-ECONOMICS.ORG.
Although Canada may be a country that prides itself on our multiculturalism, and a population that is increasingly racialized, economic inequality still exists for many racialized communities here.
In 2015, racialized men earned 78 cents for every dollar that non-racialized men earned - an earnings gap that has remained unchanged since 2005. As for racialized women, they earned 59 cents for every dollar that non-racialized men earned, while non-racialized women earned 67 cents for every dollar that non-racialized men earned. From 2005 to 2015, little progress was made in reducing this gap. In 2019, a report on income inequality that looked at the financial impact of racism beyond jobs and wages showed that Canadians who identify as a visible minority do not have the same access to investments and other sources of wealth compared to non-racialized people.
This is an issue not isolated to just Canada either. Around the world many individuals who identify in the BIPOC community, are met with economic inequality, among other inequalities and discrimination that impact their access to financial freedom, because of their race. As INEQUALITY.ORG puts it, systemic racism contributes to the persistence of race-based gaps that manifest in many different economic indicators. This reflects the centuries of white privilege that have made it particularly hard for people who are BIPOC to achieve economic and financial security.
Why is it important to discuss "othered" communities?
In 2010, a report from the Canada House of Commons on poverty identified 10 groups that were most at risk of experiencing low income: children, lone-parent families (specifically female lone-parent families), women, unattached individuals, seniors, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, visible minorities, and low-wage workers. This is exactly why it is so important to discuss the communities here in Canada and around the world that face financial struggles because of their identities. Whether we are talking about economic inequality as a whole, or specifically in terms of income, wealth, pay disparities, etc., individuals who belong to “othered” communities may have a harder time reaching their full financial potential because of their gender, their sexual orientation, race, class, ability, etc.
Before we end this blog post today, we just want to say that what we have discussed here is only a brief snapshot of a much bigger picture. Economic inequality for “othered” communities has existed for centuries if not longer, and there are a lot of intricate details to be covered that can’t be summarized in one blog post alone. But as an inclusive community empowering anyone who needs help financially, we are committed to educating ourselves and others in order to make finance accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of their identities.
You can follow us over on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to see more content about fighting for economic equality and specifically, empowering women financially. You can also check out our other blog posts here!
Financial independence is a huge part of being a strong, independent person, and it is our mission to help women, and anyone who doesn't feel safe or welcome in financial spaces typically dominated by cis men, set themselves up for financial success.
At Untangle Money we help women understand their (real!) financial picture, and obtain financial guidance from people that actually, really, get it. We would love to help you, too! Join the community of hundreds of other women looking to strengthen their financial well-being. You can check out our products and plans here or get in touch for a free consultation!