Women’s tenuous relationship with money is often influenced by things out of our power. In my opinion the main culprit is the lack of financial education (the second culprit is imposter syndrome). Think about your high school education. We were taught algebra, Shakespeare, and history. I had a class called Life Skills. In life skills I learned how to sew a button and make cookies. Valuable? Yes. Could the curriculum have been modified? Absolutely.
One of my favorite classes in college was a 1 credit course that taught business etiquette. The professor was a sharp, well dressed, straight talking woman. She taught us things that I would have never learned and it is those little things that can make all the difference. For example, she taught us how to eat bread at a formal dinner. You do not butter the entire piece of bread and bite into the slice. You take a piece of butter, put it on your plate, rip a bite sized piece off the larger slice of bread, butter that bite sized piece only and consume. Then repeat.
She taught us not to come hungry to a business dinner; we can always eat later. A business dinner is for business, not eating.
She taught us that your work clothes should never be 100% cotton, they wrinkle too easily.
I learned the correct way to shake a hand and that my name tag should be on the right hand side because when you shake someone’s hand, their eye will then go right up to your name tag.
Little things that if they were never compiled into this 1 credit course, it may have taken me years to realize, if ever. Thank you to Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
Money is no different, if you never have a straight talking teacher to hit you with this information between the eyes, how are you going to learn it? It is hard to seek out information yourself! Especially when it comes to money.
Every person should have a fundamental knowledge about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, investing, interest rates, credit card APRs, and how to create a budget. Even if this information bores you to tears, that’s OK, at least you know a little something about it.
Are women financially savvy? Yes! If they want to be
I don’t expect every woman to turn on the tv and start “watching the markets.” CNBC and Fox Business are financial channels but with the same look and feel as ESPN. They were not designed with women in mind. Think about how the media discusses finances. The words are different, but the design is the same. Those investing channels are geared towards men, and as a result, men gravitate to those channels and learn more about investing while women are intimidated and put off by the extreme masculinity.
84% of women feel misunderstood by investment marketers.
Women need and want financial marketers to speak their language so they don’t feel patronized and excluded. Talk TO us, not AT us. It’s Marketing 101. Market to the target, determine their needs and desires, craft a campaign that meets those needs and success will be achieved. The problem is that financial marketers aren’t targeting women and women’s financial intellect is taking the brunt.
Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that if women received a fundamental education in money, the complex relationship they have with money would disappear?