I am a woman, and a survivor, and a financial services professional.
Of all three, it’s the last one that jars a bit, isn’t it? We all feel on some level like that’s a man’s world. And if I’m honest - it is - but it’s also, really unexpectedly, my passion.
That’s why I am here. And this isn’t a post like you’ll see in mass media, telling you how to budget more effectively, or curb your spending, as if because you are a woman you are inherently doing something wrong with your money.
This post will be completely honest and say that actually, as a woman, the odds are probably stacked against you. And explore what steps can you take to minimise the impact of that.
I want to talk to you about pitfalls and misconceptions that may leave you disadvantaged so you can make sure they don’t. I want to talk to you about your rights. I want you to engage with your financial future, so that you can be economically independent and resilient, whatever life throws at you. I want to give you a framework to keep in mind as you move through your own journey. So that you can own your journey.
Let’s kick off with two important things to keep in mind throughout these posts;
Firstly, you are not bad, or greedy, or arrogant for seeking what you deserve. You are allowed to be ambitious. You are allowed to treat yourself. You are entitled to recognition and reward for all that you do.
Secondly, you are not stupid if you feel overwhelmed or intimidated or confused when you think about money. Research shows only around 20% of women do. The financial services industry was built by men, for men, and while it is changing slowly there is a long way to go and society continues to reinforce the divide along the way.
We are, as women, conditioned into our low confidence around money. A study into language used around money when targeting men versus women showed that 73% of articles aimed at men focused on investing, while 90% of articles aimed at women were around spending less. We are basically being subtly told we need help with our finances.
As a result, we probably do need help. But not because we are incapable. And not because what we want to do with our money is wrong. Just because we got this far, and no one has talked to us about it yet. We simply need help to level the playing field.