Elissa Sanci: If financial success is a marathon, then I’m losing the race

aIf financial success is the prize at the end of the marathon, then it’s safe to say that not everyone begins the race at the starting line. There are a number of factors that determine what mile marker we start of at, and most times, it comes down to luck of the draw.

The way I look at it, winning the race is two parts hard work and one part luck. While it’s essential to train tirelessly for the marathon, your chances of winning are partially rooted in random selection.

How far along the course do you get to start? It depends on your demographic. While some people are birthed at the finish line, some unlucky few not only begin behind the starting line but also start 15 minutes after everyone else.

If you’re white, you’re off to a good start. If you’re a man, even better. And you’re straight? And Christian?! Just take the medal—no need to even run the race!

It’s true—if you’re a white man, statistically, you’re probably doing pretty well. In 2013, American women made 80 cents to every dollar made by a white male. When it comes to pay gap, being a woman is just about the worst thing you can be. Across the board, Hispanic women earn the least, putting them at the greatest disadvantage.

bIt’s frustrating to realize that uncontrollable circumstances—like what race, gender or sexual orientation you were born into—can factor so heavily into being monetarily successful. It’s hard to accept your lot in life, especially when it’s unfavorable. You can try harder, train more, run faster, but in the end, there chances of winning the race are still devastatingly low.

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