Today is International Women’s Day. Today, as we should every day, we celebrate the many achievements of women from all over- whether it be social, political or financial achievements.
The theme this year is Balance for Better. Imagine that, a gender-balanced world boasting equality, awareness, and no bias.
While we know we still have a long way to go, today we look at where we stand, where we’re going, and some of the women that have inspired us along the way!
We’ve come a long way, but there is still so much work to be done. Did you know women earn only 77 cents of each dollar a man makes? Even less if she works in the financial industry, and even less if she is a woman of color. If women made 100% of what men make- that huge pay difference could be used to help close the investment gender gap.
Less pay may explain why fewer women than men have started saving for retirement (only 53%), and why the amount women have saved is also less. When women aren’t making as much, how could they possibly keep up with men when it comes to how much they invest.
Lastly, women’s portfolios tend to be more risk-averse, which leads to lower returns over time. Being risk-averse is fine if you are short on time. However, if you have time to let your money sit, you can tolerate more risk.
Remember, when women do invest, they tend to outperform men. This is because female investors don’t trade as much as men do. Their male counterparts incur more losses and pay more fees as a result of their higher trading level. Because women think long-term, they can ride out short-term volatility and avoid losses. Let this be a testament to the power of female investors, the hardest part is simply getting started.
So now that those stats are out of the way, let’s talk about where we’re going. We are making a bee-line towards equality and leaving no female behind. Powerful men are losing power. Powerful women are picking up steam. Women are speaking out on topics like workplace harassment and inequality that should have never been ignored in the first place. Women are asking for raises. Now we must make sure we are taking the next step and putting that newfound money to work.
We challenge each and every woman to make a financial pledge today. Pledge to get your finances in the best shape they’ve ever been in. Pledge to never take no for an answer. Pledge to always know your worth- net worth and figuratively!
The first steps to fulfilling your pledge is to get a hold of your finances. Where do you stand? If there is still bad debt to pay off, start there. If you’re debt free but don’t have a safety net of savings, make it a priority to squirrel away some cash. The next step is to make sure you have the basics covered and are taking advantage of any possible free money- this means look at your 401(k) and make sure you are contributing as much as possible.
Now to the good stuff. The next step is to start investing on your own. Whether it be with DiversyFund or somewhere else, look at all of your options. It is also important to know your goals before starting. Will you be investing for short-term gains, long-term growth, or with a specific purchase or life event in mind. Nobody knows your financial situation better than you do, so always do your homework, ask questions, and make sure you feel in control.
There are countless stories of women who have made major impacts on gender parity. Below we highlight 4 women who inspire us, were the first to do something in our industry, and who helped normalize women being in the investment and finance industry.
As much as today is about building each other up and commemorating incredible women around us, it is also about facing the work we still have left to do in the fight for total gender equality. We also challenge all men to participate, help break the cycle, stand up against dated norms, and fight for equality.
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