Wealthy women are more likely than their male counterparts to give both time and money to the betterment of society, according to research published this month. The most popular careers for ultrahigh net worth women are in nonprofit and social organizations, whereas wealthy men are more likely to be engaged in finance, investment and banking.
A report by Wealth-X and UBS says that 15.2 percent of wealthy women engage in nonprofit careers and approximately 20 percent of rich men are employed in finance.
However, when it comes to actual dollars spent on charity, the big money still comes from men. They are responsible for 83 percent of all charitable donations of more than $1 million, but the report attributes that to the fact that a nearly equal percentage of the ultrahigh net worth population (defined as having at least $30 million in assets) is male.
Throughout history, women have generally taken a more active role in the day-to-day operations of good causes, says Peter Cafferkey, director of Geneva Global, a philanthropic consultant. He told Wealth-X that philanthropy gave women power in society when they were barred from male-oriented careers. "Philanthropy proved an effective way for women to find a role of scale and substance," he said.
The hands-on approach to philanthropy is instilled in women from a young age, according to another study from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Its report on the ways in which families involve their children in philanthropy found that nearly 9 out of 10 children age 8 to 19 donate to charity. However, the girls are more likely than boys to volunteer their time, a habit that continues into adulthood.
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