July 27, 2023 | Blog

Girl Power



graduates throwing graduation caps in the air

Every four years, deep in baseball season, America is riveted by a global sport when the U.S. Women’s National Team takes to the pitch in the Women’s World Cup. While the men’s team often makes a respectable showing in their World Cup, the American women’s team is good. Like, really good: This year they’re going for a third straight title, fifth overall. For many on the team, it’s a journey that began when they were kids.

Whether kids are destined to be record-setters or not, sports can teach them life skills including teamwork, healthy competition, and grace under pressure. Business leaders overwhelmingly see the value of these lessons in their demanding world. When Visa and Wakefield Research surveyed women small-business owners, 89% believed participating in sports helped children develop skills for future professional success. And nearly as many (81%) felt overcoming adversity in sports prepares people for tackling the most difficult situations in business.

The U.S. Women’s team’s dominance does more than just stoke national pride and boost soccer’s visibility. The team reflects diversity. In addition to preparing young people to handle adversity in the business world, sports offer tremendous motivation in seeing the triumphs of someone who looks like you, has the same background as you, and faced similar obstacles as you… But playing fields aren’t always even. Edelman Financial Engines found in their survey with Wakefield that 93% of people who don’t always feel represented in their company’s benefits materials were more likely to take part in financial wellness support if it were personalized to their background and circumstances, maximizing their earnings.

Just as the World Cup is about more than soccer, sports are about more than winners and losers. As you cheer the U.S. women on, think of the way team sports can reflect our very best selves.

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