When thinking about this year’s theme for International Women’s Day ‘Break the Bias’, I am continually drawn back to the different conversations I’ve had with the women in my life. Across friends, family, colleagues and clients, there has been a common underlying theme of women underestimating their abilities when it comes to understanding financial concepts. This not only limits our opportunities but aids in maintaining existing discrimination and inequality.
Are we stereotyping ourselves? Are we buying into stereotypes that society is inflicting on us? Are the stereotypes deliberate or unconscious? Reason aside, I believe this is a bias we need to break. We do this by realising the importance of financial literacy; by taking responsibility for our financial literacy
As advisors, we have the knowledge and skill set to make a difference to the women in our lives, through education, encouragement and building confidence. As women, not only can we, but we must also, equip ourselves with the tools we need to break down the stereotypes like “Finance is a man’s world” or “It’s too complicated for me or other women to understand.”
Break the Bias is so powerful and speaks to so many issues in society. For me, the most important thing we can do is take action. I strongly believe that gaining better financial literacy for women is an essential step in the right direction. A step we all need to take.
Melissa Goodman is Portfolio Manager at Viridian Advisory.