Skimm Money: The Gender Wealth Gap, Climate Change, and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

4 min read|Mar 25, 2022|fbtwitteremail

Tonight, tonight. It all begins Sunday night. The Oscars, that is. Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog” seems to be the critics’ favorite for winning best picture. Which could help justify its production budget of more than $30 million. But Apple TV’s “CODA” could take home the statue, despite its comparatively modest $10 million budget. Tune in Sunday to see which film wins Hollywood’s most coveted award. 

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Headlines, Skimm'd

  • Food for thought. Food prices and production costs are on the rise as the Russia-Ukraine war continues to disrupt supply chains. (Hint: Both countries are major producers of wheat and farming necessities like fertilizer and fuel.) This week, Biden invited food and oil industry execs to the White House to discuss how to mitigate the impact on the US economy. And in more food news, California’s drought is entering its third year. Reminder: The US relies on California’s Central Valley for nearly a quarter of its food. 

  • Going green(er). The Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose new rules that would require publicly-traded companies to disclose the risks they face due to climate change. And, for the first time ever, report their greenhouse gas emissions. Oh, and if they’ve made public pledges to reduce their carbon footprint, they'll have to show the receipts for how they’re meeting their goals. Environmentalists say it’s a step in the right direction, but the new rule may have legal challenges ahead.

  • Capital report. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson fielded confirmation hearing questions about everything from religion to critical race theory to former President George W. Bush. And spoke to the challenges of balancing work and family. She also wore Sisterlocks throughout the hearings. Just as the House voted to pass the CROWN Act, which seeks to protect workers from bias against natural hair textures and styles like braids, Afros, and locs.

Let's Talk About

Last week, Equal Pay Day was a reminder that the US hasn’t closed the gender pay gap. But pay is just one factor in the financial disparities between men and women. Meet the gender wealth gap, which represents how much money women (vs. men) are able to keep and grow. And spoiler: the financial facts are stacked against women.

Some good news: Over the last six months, women have been getting (slightly) bigger raises than men, according to the Atlanta Federal Reserve. But it’s still not enough to catch up to men’s pay. Or to address the heavier debt burdens, bigger workplace challenges, and smaller portfolios keeping women's (net) worth down. A real fix will take systemic changes. Think: paid family leave

So what can you do? Bring up your own net worth. That might mean prioritizing paying down debt, investing, or asking for a raise

Make Good (Money) Choices

If you left a 401(k) with your old job…

Consider rolling it over. Leaving behind forgotten 401(k) accounts could cost you nearly $700,000 in retirement savings over your lifetime, according to this study. And since women need to save more for retirement than men (see above: the gender wealth gap), you’ll want to keep track of every dollar you invest. One option: A direct rollover. It’s an easy way to move your old 401(k) balance to your new employer’s plan without a tax penalty. Check out the pros and cons of rolling over your 401(k) to your new employer to determine the right move for you.

Crypto, Decoded

Major bag alert: Investor Katie Haun has raised $1.5 billion for her new fund Haun Ventures, which aims to help Web3 founders build the next iteration of the internet. It’s the largest debut fund ever raised by a solo female venture capitalist. And it's a big deal for the crypto community, too. The size of the fund is a sign that investors are becoming increasingly interested in the Web3 world. 

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Skimm’d by Liz Knueven, Kamaron McNair, Megan Beauchamp, Dae Cason, Niven McCall-Mazza, and Stacy Rapacon