in her words
Rachel Rodgers, the writer of “We Should All Be Millionaires,” blames systemic sexism and racism — and internalized beliefs — for holding women back.
July 29, 2021, 4:44 p.m. ET
“I wanted to constitute a publication for radical who grew up connected my block.”
— Rachel Rodgers, the writer of “We Should All Be Millionaires”
Many self-help books successful the alleged women’s empowerment class absorption connected fixes without acknowledging the societal barriers astatine play.
Rachel Rodgers is retired to alteration that.
Her caller book, “We Should All Be Millionaires,” focuses connected earning more, gathering wealthiness and gaining economical powerfulness particularly among those who person traditionally been near retired of the high-income satellite similar women of color, queer women and disabled women.
Eighty-five percent of the world’s millionaires are men, according to GlobalData. The radical wealthiness spread is besides significant: One in 7 achromatic families successful the U.S. person a nett worthy of $1 cardinal oregon more, but lone 1 successful 50 Black families do.
More non-white, non-male radical should beryllium earning 7 figures, Ms. Rodgers writes successful the book. But betwixt systemic racism and sexism and the internalized limiting beliefs galore women of colour person from operating wrong those systems, astir conflict to get there. It starts successful the workplace, wherever Black women marque 62 cents for each dollar earned by a achromatic antheral doing the aforesaid work. Even arsenic they go much educated, Black women with an undergraduate oregon adjacent precocious degrees look a 35 percent spread successful net compared with achromatic men, according to LeanIn.org.
Ms. Rodgers’s purpose is to admit the unequal systems astatine play and, without “shaming” women, get them to imagination bigger and fig retired an enactment plan.
She talked to In Her Words conscionable a fewer days a caput of Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, astir however astir fiscal proposal excludes radical of color, however making much wealth requires women to archetypal pat into their desires and however she reimagines capitalism truthful that it benefits much than a handful.
Our speech has been condensed and lightly edited.
You’re a concern lawyer by background. How did the thought of helping women go millionaires travel about?
I grew up arsenic a low-income idiosyncratic successful a mostly Black vicinity successful Flushing, Queens. I saw my parents conflict with money, a lot. I wanted to not person fiscal issues erstwhile I got older, and I besides wanted to lick those issues for my parents, which I deliberation happens a lot, particularly with radical of color.
I started my concern successful 2010 with a $300 investment, which was everything successful my savings account. Eleven years later, it is simply a $10 cardinal business. I wasn’t broke by choice, I had to truly fig it out.
I wanted to constitute a publication for radical who grew up connected my block.
Your publication offers proposal connected gathering wealthiness for radical who person been near down by the strategy …
The proposal astir get-rich books often stock would not enactment for Black women oregon radical of color. They accidental “invest successful existent estate.” But that isn’t thing that I person entree to — no slope is giving maine immoderate benignant of money! I tin hardly get a recognition card. It’s truthful unrealistic. We can’t conscionable spell get a loan, we can’t conscionable inquire an uncle and rise our “friends and family” circular oregon spell get V.C. money. [So acold successful 2021, Black women person received 0.34 percent of each task superior backing successful the U.S.]
What other holds backmost women of colour from making money?
First, sexism and racism. Second, internalizing that sexism and racism. Part of wherefore that happens is due to the fact that it’s reinforced everyplace we look. It’s successful selling emails, Instagram feeds, commercials. It’s successful movies. We’re told occurrence and wealthiness are not for women of color.
Who’s this publication for?
I dedicated the publication to my sister, who I deliberation is simply a bully typical of a batch of women. She’s a ma of 2 and she’s divorced. She has a full-time occupation wherever she’s a radical manager. She besides has a broadside hustle arsenic a realtor, wherever she’s generating other superior for herself. I deliberation that’s existent for truthful galore women these days. We request to spot ourselves arsenic entrepreneurs, nary substance what. We person a acceptable of skills for merchantability and we tin merchantability it to 1 institution oregon we tin merchantability it to aggregate companies oregon aggregate individuals.
Is that the cardinal dollar worth you speech astir successful the book?
Yes. The cardinal dollar worth is being crystal wide connected answers to questions like: How americium I adding worth to this company? Be truthful wide astir however you adhd worth whether you’re successful a firm vocation oregon arsenic an entrepreneur, truthful that you tin complaint accordingly. Then you’re backmost successful your powerfulness alternatively of waiting for idiosyncratic other to beforehand you.
You speech successful your publication astir the “million dollar squad.” What is that?
Decades-old research finds that palmy radical are surrounded by different palmy people. They person a almighty network. But you’re not apt to person a almighty web if you grew up successful a mediocre neighborhood, similar I did. I had to truly make my network. And for that, we request to look to each other.
What’s your instrumentality connected the communicative that women marque mediocre fiscal decisions?
There’s this thought that women should chopped retired coupons and skip the lattes to physique wealth. But I don’t judge successful shaming radical for wanting pleasure. Pleasure is thing that we each deserve. I americium astir balance, I prevention and I invest. We request to alteration the narrative: Men invest, instrumentality risks and bargain the suit, the watch, the yacht, the car to explicit their power. Women are called frivolous and are told to halt spending wealth connected lipsticks and shoes.
How should women get started connected gathering wealth?
Ask yourself what is it I really want. Then do the mathematics connected what it costs to get there. I wanted a bigger location with a backyard for my kids. I besides wanted to enactment my mother. I wanted to nonstop my kids to extracurricular activities. Take vacations. Get a caller car. I did the mathematics connected that, and I realized I needed to marque 3 times what I was making. It took maine 2 oregon 3 years from erstwhile I imagined that to erstwhile I had each of the things connected that list.
What’s driving you close now?
Eighty percent of women entrepreneurs ne'er marque much than $50,000 successful full yearly revenue. That is enraging. I was making six figures successful my instrumentality signifier and I did not consciousness similar I’d “arrived.” So galore women of colour enactment household members, and person childcare costs. To me, $100,000 is not enough.
If I could bash it with the precise constricted resources that I had, each different pistillate of colour tin bash it too. And for those who truly can’t, the remainder of america request to bash it truthful we tin make opportunities for her.
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