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Marriage is still the main way for women to get rich: study

A new survey found that most women enter the elusive 1 percent through marrying a rich spouse.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte took a look at the 1995-to-2017 Survey of Consumer Finances reports to examine gender income patterns.

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They saw that American households who were part of the 1 percent — which meant making more than $845,000 a year — only 15 percent of them needed the woman’s income to cross that elite threshold. And they also found that only 5 percent of women in those crazy rich families made enough money to qualify for the 1 percent. Instead, the study concluded that “women mostly enter one percent households through marriage by gaining access to their spouse’s income.”

Researchers also saw that the gender gap among the rich hasn’t closed since the 1990s.

“We know that women face a lot of barriers reaching top executive and CEO positions,” Jill Yavorsky, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina and co-author of the study, wrote in a press release. “This study shows that the glass ceiling is more extensive than we previously thought. It extends to nearly all elite positions, even self-employment.”

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Yavorsky and her colleagues noted that even though American women pursue post-graduate degrees more than men, that’s still not enough to reach 1 percent status.

“Women also experience a number of entry barriers into self-employment,” Yavorsky said. “And once they become self-employed or start their own business, they experience additional gender-based obstacles to growing their businesses.” She reports that women have a harder time than men when it comes to securing bank loans and venture capital funding for their businesses.

Money expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox says she’s not surprised by these numbers.

“It was disheartening,” Khalfani-Cox, author of “Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom,” told The Post. “I’m an entrepreneur and I make many hundreds of thousand of dollars, though I’m not quite [1 percent], and only 5 percent of all women crack that financial code.”

Though she notes that women aren’t as competitive as men when it comes to money. 

“Most women are not like, ‘Let’s join the ranks of the 1 percent,’” Khalfani-Cox said. “The vast majority of women are way more concerned about being well-compensated for the value they bring as an employee or entrepreneur. They’re more concerned about having enough money to pay for a roof over their family’s heads.”

 

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