Going by the fact that for the past decade, only 23% of Certified Financial Planners are women, you may possibly be thinking that a majority of women are not particularly interested in investments and finance. In reality, and rather in contrast, only a sizeable proportion of women, just like some men, is not keen on financial matters. Actually, as reported in a 2012 survey by Allianz Life Insurance Company, 50% of women have a great sense of responsibility with regards to financial matters and 62% have a strong interest in learning more on retirement plans and financial management.
Stereotypes surrounding women and money have led to formulation of certain myths which have inarguably been proven wrong as explained below.
Myth 1: Entrepreneurs Are Overwhelmingly Men
Only 3% of technology start-ups have been founded by women. However, this does not entirely mean that women are not enterprising. The world of business is vast and includes more ventures than technology start-ups. Reportedly, according to American Express, women are starting 1288 new businesses in the United States everyday.
Even though it was reported by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in 2013 that men are more likely than women to be entrepreneurs, the difference is not overwhelming.
Myth 2: Women Can’t Save Because Of Their Spendthrift Nature
Women have been accused of impulse buying and having an insatiable shopping appetite. A study showed that 90% of shoppers- both men and women- buy items not on their shopping lists. Although a different study incriminated women of having higher impulse buying rates than men, they were found to keep their most expensive items at a maximum of $25 while men would go up to more than $1000.
According to Helaine Olen, author of Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry, the current economy is characterized by decreasing income and increasing expenditures. This point is further supported by a report that stated Americans are generally saving at a lower rate, not because of overspending on luxuries, but due to a high cost of living.
Myth 3: The Gender Wage Gap Is Inexistent
While Americans believe that women are great entrepreneurs, women still have to do much more to prove their worth and skills. This is according to a research conducted by Pew Research Centre to assess the work ecosystem surrounding women. Furthermore, in 2013, women who worked full-time and all-year round earned only 78% of what their male counterparts earned, as published by The American Association of University Women. This wage gap is not specific to any occupation and is sadly also observed in female-dominated careers where the men are still taking home bigger wages than women.
The gender wage gap is clearly existent and has been contributed to by several factors such as fear of wrong impressions when they re-negotiate their salary and priority to family life.
Myth 4: Women Need More Help Managing Money Than Men
Women are more often than not told that they need financial management advice more than men. In the real sense, extensive studies have proved that there exists little difference between men’s and women’s financial habits and knowledge.
Myth 5: Women Are Content To Leave Financial Management Matters To Their Men
Contrary to popular belief, women are as interested in financial management as men and do not really rely on men to sort out financial matters. The Allianz study, referred to above, clearly proved this. It indicated that 60% of women handle tax preparation in their households while 57% primarily handle major investment decisions and retirement planning in the home.
Women obviously have money matters under control and the society should view their financial knowledge and prowess better.