Rock The Street, Wall Street (RTSWS) — a financial and investment literacy program for high school girls — has identified some reasons why this stat is so low:
- In the U.S. and Western Europe, we start to lose girls in math at age 9. We don’t have this problem in Russia, China nor Eastern European countries. This is a cultural issue, not a capability issue.
- Girls' engagement with STEM wanes even further in high school, just as they are beginning to consider their college majors/minors and future careers.
- Girls take finance and economics classes at lower rates than boys in high school and college, leading to lower financial literacy rates and fewer career opportunities in the financial services field.
RTSWS’s mission is to get girls re-engaged with the M in STEM (math) at a critical age, when they are on the verge of becoming financially independent; choosing whether to go to college, where they will go, and what they will study. Since launching in 2012, more than 5,000 girls have graduated from the year-long RTSWS program.
We’re partnering with this non-profit organization for our second consecutive year. Five women from our company join female students weekly at the Rogers High School campus here in Newport, RI. We do hands-on financial projects with the girls, including:
- lifetime budgeting
- spending while in college
- allocating paycheck deductions
- evaluating company stocks and bonds
- stock market updates
- salary negotiation
- saving and investing for retirement
Students that go through the RTSWS program average a 78% increase in their financial literacy and graduates of the program are 5X more likely to pursue degrees in finance or economics. Long-term, RTSWS hopes this will help close the gender gap in wages, wealth accumulation, and financial professions.One of our mantras at Havener is, “Don’t talk about it. Be about it.” We are proud to mentor these girls and help make change in both their lives and in the financial industry.