The TV anchor tells Moneyish about the lessons she learned about women and money from her grandmother
beAs part of a series to mark Equal Pay Day, Moneyish asked some prominent women to share their thoughts and experiences around equal pay. Read more here.
Good things come to those who wait.
I can still hear my Grandmother saying that to me when I was an impatient little girl arguing for a bigger piece of cake or a later bedtime.
My grandmother had four children, supported her family while her husband served in the military, and continued to work her entire life. She loved hard work, financial independence, and was a disciplined saver. I remember her taking me to the bank to open up my first savings account in 1981. I was 6-years-old and devoted to collecting pennies from coat pockets and kitchen counters and rolling them on rainy days. I’d proudly make my penny savings deposits and marvel at my passbook stamps and growing interest.
She taught me the value and power of financial freedom, and how making and saving my own money would even empower my family life, as I would not be dependent on my partner.
Yet, she was so limited. My grandmother was not able to get a mortgage without my grandfather co-signing. She couldn’t even get her own credit card. She could never be a “principal” when it came to money and power.
It’s why she pushed my financial literacy and independence so hard. She didn’t believe a woman should have to work for her husband, and without our own income, that was a risk.
And here we are so many years later and we are still fighting.
Women still make 79% of what a man does for the same work. That has not improved since 2007. A congressional study says the wage gap won’t be closed until 2059.
While over half of our college graduates are women, a 2015 study found there are more Fortune 500 CEOs named John than there are women.
We are on the playing field. We are in the game. But the inequality remains.
I keep repeating the words my grandmother said to me all those years ago: “Good things come to those who wait.”
But here we are still waiting, pushing to close the pay gap.
I have no more patience left. But I do have a lot of fight left. Today we shine a bright light on this issue and — for the sake of my grandmother, for the sake all women past and present — hopefully move one step closer to solving it.
Stephanie Ruhle is host of “MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle.” For Equal Pay Day today, her show features an all-female guest lineup that includes Tina Brown, Rep. Jackie Speier and Greta Van Susteren.
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