SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The gender pay gap has been widely reported, with women earning a fraction of what men make.
When you combine that with the wealth gap among different ethnicities, African American women can easily fall toward the bottom of the totem pole.
But as 10News anchor Wale Aliyu shows us, one group is trying to ensure that the niche group keeps up and excels.
With more than 13,000 women nationwide and a growing footprint here in Southern California, Black Women Invest has one goal.
"We make a little look like a lot. I’m tired of making a little look like a lot. I want to make a lot look like a lot," one of the movement's leaders said during an event in Washington, D.C.
Aliyu specifically asked the leader of the local chapter why the organization is targeting Black women.
"A lot of Black families were never exposed to financial education and instruments for building their wealth," says Samonae Carter, the Southern California Chapter President for Black Women Invest.
Carter leads a group of a few dozen women in biweekly meetings.
"There's more than just stocks and real estate. There's everyday investments; you're investing in your health," she says.
Her goal is to make sure this group of girls has the same access to financial literacy as everyone else.
"A lot of my friends and family don't know what I mean when I say index funds. Of course, people have heard about the stock market, but they don't know what I mean about different creative financing techniques of buying real estate, different types of businesses and leveraging that and not spending any of your own money," she says.
While Carter is very knowledgeable, most of her knowledge came from surrounding herself in similar groups and diving in head first, or perhaps fist first.
"Know anyone looking for vending machines or needs them serviced? Samonae’s your girl," she said in a Facebook video from 2021.
One of her first forays into the business world was buying 29 different vending machines throughout San Diego.
"They allowed me to not pay anything for 90 days, and so that allowed me to get some time for the vending machines to start paying for themselves," Carter says.
She built up the business and then sold it. Now she has her sights set much higher.
"I do plan to build my own air park," Carter says.
The ambition bleeds into the meetings, and some of the participants have even branched off to start their own groups.
"The integration of economics and race, how those things play out historically, and what we face in the marketplace today is when we go to buy houses or we try to increase our assets," says Dr. Darleana McHenry of Black in Money Recovery. "I need to be able to talk about these things because it's part of my acting out with money."
McHenry started Black in Money Recovery, which now has about 300 people worldwide who meet daily, reading books, listening to podcasts and increasing their wealth.
"Watch people get out of debt. To watch people increase their earnings. To watch people have confidence and take responsibility for their own lives. It’s just been the ultimate reward," McHenry says.
Aliyu asked Carter what difference she believes her organization can make for the community in the long term.
"I think we'll be able to diversify finance education, finance literacy, but also address the wealth gap," Carter says.
To learn more about Black Women Invest and Black in Money Recovery, follow these links: