Mind the Gap
Frequently, I speak with women who are scared. They are scared about their money. This fear is so huge that it sometimes causes them to become neutralized. They’re completely stuck.
These successful and accomplished women don’t know what to do and are unable to speak to anyone about their situation. In these women, with demanding jobs and extremely busy home lives, I see a hesitancy to talk to their friends, seek mentors, and request professional guidance. Because young girls and women are more unlikely than boys and men to have conversations about money with other adults, these women feel stranded and alone—through no fault of their own.
The result: these women are stymied in their ability to grow and create financial independence and freedom.
Of course, managing cash flow and debt are important. However, investments are frequently a high mark for women to hurdle. Why? Women are frequently intimidated by investment terminology and the men who cavalierly toss these words around. It makes women feel scared and uncomfortable. The unfortunate outcome is a lack of confidence and self-assurance by women to create an investment strategy that supports their personal idea of freedom and security.
These women are part of the gap—the Gender Investment Gap. This is the gap between what women and men invest. And depending on their earnings, it's easily costing women up to $1 million apiece.
Is this an issue?
It sure is! Women are more likely than men to pop in and out of the workforce, and thus need more money to care for themselves. They earn less than men—and, therefore have a hard time saving enough money for the longer lives they live, compared to men.
I know many of these women are hesitant to put their money into their employer retirement accounts. Instead, they choose extremely conservative investment strategies, and also keep an extraordinary amount of money in savings accounts with limited growth.
What do we need to do?
We must get over ourselves. Talk about money with our friends, family and finance professionals. We need to create a movement of women who feel comfortable and secure with their finances and financial situation. We have to aggressively encourage each other to know our money. Do our money. Make our money work for us.