Philanthropy Has a Critical Role to Play in Addressing the Impact of Inflation on Women

Dear Colleagues,

With the second-largest bank collapse in the history of the U.S. and record-high inflation around the world, financial security is top of people’s minds right now. This worry is for good reason: soaring food and fuel prices have pushed more than seventy million people into poverty worldwide. So it makes sense that for the past year, inflation has remained the number one thing that worries people across 29 countries

Yet what few are talking about in the inflation conversation is the outsized impact it has on women. Studies show that women are “paying more and making less.” Fields with the highest share of women workers (such as 75% in healthcare and education) have some of the lowest wage increases, so working women can’t keep up with the pace of inflation. Meanwhile, men in the U.S. are 33.3% more likely than women to have their salaries keep pace with inflation. On top of that, the prices of items typically sold to women–such as period products, beauty products, women’s shoes and clothes–spiked higher than men’s grooming and clothing items.

Philanthropy also has a critical role to play in addressing the impact of inflation on women. Rather than the previous spending of just 1.9% of all charitable contributions going to nonprofits dedicated to supporting women and girls, we need to boost that to 10% or more–immediately. Investments in women and girls’ education and financial security are what will help long-term survival when prices spike. Funders must also direct investments to organizations run by women. It’s proven that women manage money more effectively and efficiently, with investments managed by women delivering a higher rate of return, according to the new book The XX Edge: Unlocking Higher Returns and Lower Risk. (Our own data bears that out, with women’s funds moving money six times faster than traditional philanthropic channels.)

We’re experiencing a difficult, stressful, and expensive time for women, girls and gender expansive people around the world. Thank you for all you do to support their efforts in creating intersectional feminist economies that work for all. 

Elizabeth Barajas-Román
Women’s Funding Network 
President & CEO

Letters from Elizabeth