Women are more likely than men to put a premium on educational opportunities as an avenue to achieve their American Dream.
What does the American Dream mean to women? As with their male counterparts, the American Dream means “an equal opportunity for all people.” But is that opportunity fully available to them? It is a question at the heart of International Women’s Day, which is being observed on Sun. March 8.
‘Equal opportunity for all” mirrors the concept of the American Dream as originally envisioned by James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book, “The Epic of America.” The American Dream, he wrote, was “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement… It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”
Roughly seven-in-ten Affluent women and men surveyed by Spectrem Group’s Millionaire Corner subscribe to this definition. Roughly half believe that one of the foundations of the American Dream is owning one’s own home.
Other tenets of the American Dream are a greater priority for women. Fifty-two percent of women respondents said that the American Dream means “job security” vs. 43 percent of men. Wage inequality eats away at that security. Women across the world earn 77 percent of the amount paid to men, a figure that has improved by only three percentage points in the past 20 years. A new report from the UN’s international Labor Corporation finds that the income of female workers across the world will lag behind their male peers for another seven decades if the current gender pay gap continues to reduce at the present rate.
Women, not surprisingly, given their workplace challenges that impact their ability to save for retirement, are less likely than men to say that the American Dream means to them that future generations will do better than the current generation (45 percent vs. 53 percent). But they are more likely than to put a premium on educational opportunities as an avenue to achieve their American Dream (65 percent vs. 58 percent).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.