By Krista Park, Communications & Marketing Director
Girls today reflect a new generation of financially empowered and independent citizens. An overwhelming majority of girls feel gender is not a barrier to what they can accomplish financially. But is the world ready to support today’s girls?
As it now stands, students receive little financial education at school and have repeatedly failed broad tests measuring their mastery of basic personal finance and economic concepts. Just 14 states require high schools to offer a course in personal finance, according to the Council for Economic Education, and even fewer require students to take such a course in order to graduate.
In an ever-changing economy and world, financial skills are leadership skills. As the premier leadership organization for girls, Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines helps girls build financial experience, confidence, and independence by providing them with resources focused on everything from saving money, developing strong credit, and minimizing debt, to philanthropic giving and financing their dreams.
Women now represent half of the workforce in the United States, and more than half of the country’s college students and graduates are women. Thus, the potential for women to hold leadership positions in business, entertainment, academia, and politics is high.
But while progress has been made, there is still a shortage of women in leadership roles. As of 2012, women made up 18.3 percent of the U.S. Congress, and 23.4 percent of statewide elective executive offices. Only 3.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs were women, and women made up 16.6 percent of corporate boards.
Girl Scouts is committing to the financial empowerment of all girls. Our shift from simple fundraising to financial education has been underway for some time and continues to bolster the relevance of Girl Scouting to today’s girls. The current economic recession and resulting awareness of how important financial literacy is for all youth—especially girls—has given our approach a real charge.
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute study Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy, girls are quite clear that they need and want financial literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams, with 90 percent saying it is important for them to learn how to manage money. However, just 12 percent of girls surveyed feel confident in making financial decisions.
It is up to all of us at Girl Scouts – North Carolina Pines to ensure today’s girls are developing the financial savvy, business skills, and innovative thinking that will position them to be leaders in their own lives and in the world at large.
Please join us in helping girls be prepared for their futures.