Arizona Council on Economic Education launches Invest in Girls empowering high school females with essential financial skills, addressing gender disparities.
The Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE) proudly declares its dedication to shaping the financial future of young women in Arizona through the Invest in Girls (IIG) program. As a part of the Council for Economic Education (CEE), IIG aims to equip high school girls with essential financial literacy skills, paving the way for successful careers in finance. The stark reality that only 26% of professional jobs in finance are held by women, with a mere 4% of women of color in executive leadership roles, underscores the critical need to address gender disparities in the financial industry.
IIG distinguishes itself with a tailored approach designed specifically for high school girls, providing not only crucial financial knowledge but also a vital steppingstone into the finance sector. The comprehensive curriculum covers financial literacy essentials, revealing potential career paths, and ensuring young women are confidently prepared for the financial landscape. IIG emphasizes the importance of a safe and inclusive space, fostering open dialogue to empower students like Phoenix Union’s Freshman Guadalupe, who expressed, “What I learned today will give me an advantage, knowing something not everybody does.”
At the core of Invest in Girls is a commitment to promoting gender diversity, equity, and inclusion. The program recognizes the persistent income gap, where women earn only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. This disparity has significant repercussions, with the average woman losing over $400,000 in her lifetime due to the income gap. This figure rises to a staggering $960,000 for Black women and an astonishing $1,160,000 for Hispanic women. IIG confronts these disparities directly, providing young women with access to knowledge, careers, and mentors in finance.
The positive impact of the program is evident in the support from Phoenix Union’s teacher, Heidi Bonfante. All levels of support at the school with principal, Lorenzo Cabrera, and Thea Andrade, the superintendent, express their appreciation for being chosen as the first hosts of the program in Arizona.
A special acknowledgment goes to Dr. Mary L. Rigdon, Director of the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Economy and Moral Science, for delivering an impactful keynote speech that concluded with a powerful message: “Change the system, not the women.”
“We firmly believe in the potential of every young woman to shape her financial destiny. Invest in Girls is a transformative program, empowering high school girls with the essential skills and confidence needed to thrive in the future,” stated Elena Zee, President/CEO at ACEE. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to our partners whose unwavering support has made IIG possible. Special thanks to the University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, Arizona Bank & Trust, Piper Sandler, US Bank, MidFirst Bank, and Stansberry Asset Management.
ABOUT ARIZONA COUNCIL ON ECONOMIC EDUCATION The Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE) is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to economic and financial literacy and workforce development in Arizona. ACEE is the only statewide organization in Arizona which serves public, charter, tribal, home, private, and juvenile detention schools; has a strong, affiliated academic base with universities and community colleges; partners with the Arizona Department of Education and the Federal Reserve Bank; and prepares teachers in teaching and students in learning personal finance, economics and career readiness skills. www.azecon.org