THE FUTURE OF WEALTH WITH SHIVANI GOPAL
The Future of Wealth with Shivani Gopal
Did you know that women control 32% of the world’s wealth? Imagine the financial value that could be uncovered if women were afforded the same economic opportunity as men.
Women, on average at least, still earn less than men, accumulate less wealth than men and continue to face ongoing economic disadvantage.
What’s more, thanks to the gender pay gap, a woman’s earning potential is significantly lower than her male peers. And we all know that there are fewer women in senior positions in the modern workplace.
To put it simply, wealth is unevenly distributed between the sexes. Deeply so.
But while there’s little doubt that gender equality is the biggest human rights issue of our time, could it also be our greatest economic opportunity?
We spoke to feminist, social entrepreneur and financial expert Shivani Gopal to find out.
Be prepared to look at the world in a whole new light after this insightful interview.
Who is Shivani Gopal?
Shivani Gopal is an Indian-Australian and the CEO and Co-Founder of The Remarkable Woman, a community dedicated to empowering women and promoting gender equality.
As it turns out, gender equality could be more than 200 years away but Shivani is on a mission to reduce that timeframe dramatically. Her goal is to make gender equality a reality by 2050, which still sounds like a long time to us but perhaps it’s fast in the scheme of things.
Shivani has also been recognised with leadership awards, including female BDM of the year and she was named one of Australia’s top career women by Cosmopolitan magazine.
So what is wealth? Is it about money? Opportunity? Or is it about knowledge? And what about equality? Where does that fit in and can we really speed it along?
When Mike met Shivani
Mike sat down to record this episode with Shivani in Sydney, which is not only the most expensive city in Australia, it is also continually ranked as one of the priciest places to live in the world.
Shivani shared so much foresight in this conversation and considers ‘wealth’ much more than a monetary value. From the corporate world right through to popular culture, Shivani discussed how important it is for you to see yourself reflected; to be seen.
She makes a rallying cry for more diversity in all aspects of society from entertainment through to global leadership. Because how can we aspire to do more if we can’t even see it as a possibility?
How does the future of wealth relate to equality?
This is a big question Mike posed and Shivani didn’t shy away from the tough answers.
Shivani told Mike that while men and women might have perceived equality, especially in Western societies, genuine equality is centuries away.
The gender pay gap in favour of men is common in economies across the globe, which essentially means women are considered less valuable in the workplace. The pay gap also doesn’t impact a woman once in her career– it will follow her throughout her entire working life, compounding if she steps away from paid work to raise the next generation.
Which is why this ‘next generation’ is where Shivani is focusing her attention.
How does Shivani plan to reduce wealth inequality?
To achieve gender economic equality by 2050, Shivani is working with the future leaders of tomorrow. She told Mike that she has implemented a pro-bono program that sees her visiting Australian primary schools to teach children how to manage money,, and also what gender equality, financial literacy and leadership truly looks like.
Shivani wants to ensure that children understand what inclusivity actually means – from the way we play, to the way we speak and how we represent society on our screens
What milestones will we need to hit to achieve equality by 2050?
From a social perspective, Shivani affirms that the current underrepresentation of women and people of colour in leadership positions must be addressed. Diversity, she says is important and we need more of it. Now.
She also rejects any gendered language that sees women and girls painted as ‘weak’ when compared to men or boys. Dismantling language like “ you cry like a girl” or “don’t act like a girl” is one of her greatest plights when working with school-aged children.
Shivani says we must also redistribute unpaid labour more evenly within households, so that every family member is accountable for certain tasks.
Can we find equality on our own?
In short, no. Shivani says governments must embrace the notion of equality by 2050 if we are to truly achieve it. Which means parliaments cannot simply draw up new legislations, they need to reflect the populations that they serve.
She says eliminating the gender pay gap is also of crucial importance, but that the gap goes far beyond equal pay. To achieve equality by 2050, we must recognise how important women are to the fabric of society and acknowledge their value.
Why it is so important to empower women financially?
In this conversation, Shivani draws on a phenomenon called the ‘girl effect’. She declares that when you empower a woman financially, you’re not just empowering her, you’re empowering her family, her society and the micro-economic community she is a part of.
But for a woman to achieve financial freedom, she must be given the opportunity to receive an education, re-train as needed, and work outside of the home.
Shivani also calls on the notion that when companies have a 50/50 representation of men and women, especially in the senior ranks and at c-suite level, the organisation is actually more profitable, has a stronger culture, higher morale and better productivity levels.
Well, why are we waiting until 2050? Shouldn’t we be ensuring the world is more equal today?
Shivani says that she receives this comment all the time and her response is always the same: there is still a lot of work to be done.
Wealth and gender inequality will continue to shape our future unless we all join the global call for change and restructure.
If you want to be part of Shivani’s mission to create a more equal world, watch this episode now (or listen to the extended podcast version) and please share it with your friends and family.
You might also be interested in watching our mash-up episode featuring Shivani and a few other guests titled, Is gender equality really possible?
Thanks again for watching – The Future is Out There!
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