He For She: How Fathers Matter


The conversation around girls’ and women’s financial empowerment is usually focused on girls and women. But more and more, men are being a very productive part of the conversation too. In honor of Father’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the ways dads make a difference in women’s career and financial success.

Some female CEOs attribute their success to their fathers.

According to a recent Bloomberg article, a father can have a particularly strong influence on his daughter’s career path. The article quotes female CEOs like Mary Barra of General Motors, the first CEO of a major automaker, discussing the support they received from their fathers as children and in their careers. “For girls who have interests and aspirations in areas that are traditionally male, a father’s confidence in them can be very helpful” and counters the bias that “if you’re an assertive female you’re somehow too aggressive,” said Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital, says in the article.

According to other studies, female employees benefit when a male CEO has a daughter.

When a CEO has a daughter, especially if she is the first child, female employees get a salary boost, research shows. Other research indicates that men’s esteem for their wives improves when they become mothers, which may help male CEOs see their female employees as more capable. Some studies show that, after the birth of a daughter, some men may have greater concern for others’ well-being.

As we continue to work on financial empowerment for girls and women, it’s important to consider the issues through all different lenses, and perspectives. Bringing men into the conversation is critical, as the impact of fathers with daughters demonstrates.


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