Words by Smiley Team
Even with everything life has thrown at us in the past few years, there are some things that have remained steady. One such thing is the gender pay gap.
A 2020 Pew Research study found the pay gap remained steady over the past 15 years. The data says that women, on average, make 84% of what men do and that they would have to work 42 extra days in order to make what a man does in a year. Plus, women only own about 20% of all businesses in the US according to Census data from 2020.
One organization looking to push those scales is Female Strong. Female Strong is a non-profit organization based out of Chicago, Illinois that has one goal in mind: advocating for young girls and improving their business sense and awareness, all while helping them build confidence.
“By empowering young women with the skills they need early in life, we are equipping them to realize their potential, and preempt the inequities that exist for women in the workplace today,” Female Strong program manager, Lindsey Travers, tells Smiley News.
The nonprofit offers programs, mentorship, and experiences that build confidence in middle and high school girls, in the hope that it'll propel them to be future leaders.
Initiatives like their YEA! Chicago programs are there to help young girls build business sense and develop the skills need to start and operate their own businesses, they explain.
“As the only all-girls YEA! program in the world, this powerful program is also about how to do business, focusing on the principles and values that go into doing business well — communication, business etiquette, accountability, integrity, courage, and perseverance among others,” says Lindsey.
Beyond financial incentives, Female Strong also says they want to help girls navigate the business world and the things that come with it like imposter syndrome, and to establish more female role models in the workplace.
DONATE: You can donate directly to Female Strong to help them continue providing support to young girls.
SUPPORT YOUNG GIRLS: There are plenty of women’s aid organizations to check out like Crossroads for Women, an organization to help formerly incarcerated women, and the American Association of University Women, an organization that promotes equity for women through education.