Breaking Gender Stereotypes in Finance
How can you be an architect of your financial independence: Addressing gender biases and stereotypes
"Above all, be the heroine of your life. Not the victim."
- Nora Ephron
W: Welcome Story
A young woman named Aditi was raised to believe that financial matters were best left to the men in her family. She was expected to focus on her studies, pursue a “suitable” career, and ultimately find a husband to care for her financial needs.
Aditi, however, had a different vision for her life. She was determined to be financially independent, not just to have control over her own money but also to be a role model for her younger sisters. It wasn’t easy, especially in a society that often discouraged women from taking charge of their finances.
Aditi started small by reading books and articles about personal finance, attending free workshops, and seeking advice from experienced women in her community.
She also realized that financial independence didn’t just mean having money in the bank; it also meant having the knowledge and confidence to make informed financial decisions.
As Aditi’s financial literacy grew, so did her financial independence. She started investing in her education and taking courses to enhance her career prospects. She also began investing in her future, opening a retirement fund and making regular contributions.
Aditi’s journey was not without challenges. There were times when she doubted herself and felt overwhelmed by the complexities of the financial world. But she persevered, driven by her determination and belief in her abilities.
Today, she is a successful businesswoman, leading a women-centric business with over 10 Lakh customers and living her life on her own terms.
What made Aditi, who came from a background that always suppressed her, take charge of her finances and become empowered?
She faced multiple stereotypes, which were nothing more than just the preassumed norms and responsibilities. Yet, she identified these stereotypes and rose beyond her limitations.
Let’s have a look at a few of them:
Gender Stereotypes Women Face in Finance:
Women are not good with money:
This stereotype is simply not true. There are countless examples of women who are excellent financial managers, investors, and entrepreneurs.
A few include:
- Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon Limited
- Indira Nooyi, former Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo
- Chanda Kochhar, former Managing Director and CEO of ICICI
- Shikha Sharma, CEO and Managing Director of Axis Bank
- Vani Kola, Managing Director of Kalaari Capital
Women are too risk-averse to invest:
Risk tolerance is a personal trait, not a gender-specific one. Women can be just as savvy investors as men, and they should not be discouraged from taking calculated risks to achieve their financial goals.
Women are primarily responsible for household finances and caregiving duties:
Seriously? In 2023? Financial responsibilities should be shared equally between partners, and caregiving duties can be balanced with financial goals.
Women are not assertive enough to negotiate for raises or promotions:
Women are just as capable as men of advocating for themselves and negotiating for what they deserve. Think of women who lead organizations. How do you think they got there?
Women don’t have time to manage their finances:
Making time for your finances is just as important as making time for any other aspect of your life. If you set aside a few minutes each week to review your budget, update your financial goals, and make any necessary adjustments, you will have ample time to work on your finances.
These are just five of many societal preassumed constraints that exist.
Once you start believing these are not true and work on what is really necessary for you, you become unstoppable.
A: Actionable Steps
…to become unstoppable
Take the time to learn about personal finance, investing, and saving. Many resources are available online, in libraries, and through community programs.
Rewire your beliefs:
You might be forced to believe in certain norms because of the environment you were raised in. It’s time to rewire those beliefs.
Look at successful women around you and observe what they have done differently to not let societal beliefs impact them negatively.
Set financial goals:
What do you want to achieve with your money? Whether buying a home, saving for retirement or simply having more peace of mind, having clear financial goals will push you in a direction and help you stay on track.
Seek professional advice:
If you feel overwhelmed or unsure about managing your finances, don't hesitate to seek professional advice from a financial advisor or planner.
After all, seeking mentorship is never a bad thing.
Build a supportive network:
Surround yourself with other women who are financially independent and can provide you with encouragement and support. Having a tribe to share your learnings makes your journey fun and uplifting.
BetterHelp compiled a list of 22 ways to identify and overcome gender stereotypes to reach where you want to be.
We love how comprehensive the blog is. BetterHelp explained each point in detail, and they’ve got a banger intro to set you in context if you’re young or new to all the stereotype awareness.
Read the blog here.
T: Thought Leadership
"There is nothing more powerful than a woman who decides to rise above her circumstances and live her life with her head held high."
- Oprah Winfrey
Imagine a woman who has faced immense hardship in her life. Perhaps she has experienced poverty, discrimination, or even violence. Despite these challenges, she refuses to let them define her. She rises above her circumstances, determined to create a better life for herself and those she loves.
This woman embodies the power of resilience and self-belief. She knows she is strong enough to overcome any obstacle and refuses to let her past dictate her future. She lives her life with her head held high, radiating an inner strength that inspires others.
Oprah Winfrey's quote beautifully captures the essence of this woman's spirit.
It can be your spirit too!
Understand your rights against Sexual Harassment
If you’re a woman, you have most likely faced sexual harassment at work, in public places, or even as a kid or at home.
Unfortunately, although we all know sexual harassment is real and we see it on a daily basis, we are unaware of our rights and actions when faced with such situations.
Moolah invites Dr. Raina Khatri, CEO of Right2Rise, to address the sensitivity of the topic and educate us about our rights under the POSH Act (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) and what action steps we can take in such situations.
Register for the free event here.
Date: 19th November 2023, Sunday, 6:30-7:30 pm IST
Ask Me Anything Session:
Meeta answers all your finance questions on the third Friday of every month.
Use this link to register for the session and get your queries cleared!
PS: This session is today!
Date: Friday, 17th November 2023, 6:30-7:30 pm IST
That’s everything for this week. See you in 14 days.
If you want to ask us questions or if we can help you in any way, you can ping us at email@example.com. We will respond within 24 hours.