Women aren’t keeping quiet about their success stories. And they aren’t keeping quiet about their struggles. For centuries women have shooed away discussing money and investing but the change is kicking in. Women – home makers to business leaders, flexi workers to office goers – are finding ways and knowledge to be smarter with their money. Entrepreneur Kanika Tekriwal just wrapped up 100 million dollars in revenues last year saying, “For someone who was discouraged to set up the business, a girl who everyone wanted married and settled, we just clocked massive revenues,” says the under 30 entrepreneur, founder of JetSetGo to SheThePeople.
Money definitely brings a lot of confidence in women – Kanika Tekriwal, JetSetGo
Don’t Shy From Talking Money
When women are breaking all the stereotypes, how can money remain aloof from this league? We are discussing independence and careers and freedom of choice. The starting point of all these is ‘talking about it.’ Why should we not talk of our big goals? Buying a home, taking that big vacation, starting a family and support ourselves?
“Most women lack awareness of how to invest their money,” says Manjula Dharmalingam who runs a program to bring women back to work and offers flexible job opportunities. Add to this, is the way women have been brought up for generations, not to seek information or express the desire to make money.
“Women are brought up in an environment where we made to believe that we shouldn’t ask for money or talk about it. Talking about money is more or less a taboo but if women don’t demand what they deserve and never ask for it then it’s never going to happen,” says Kanika. “It is a challenge that I face consistently. I hate asking for money from people and I realized that it is something that weakens us while men are very practical about it.”
Why should we not talk of our big goals? Buying a home, taking that big vacation, starting a family and support ourselves?
According to Sakshi Talwar, who started RugsNBeyond, even the simple act of bringing money into a conversation with friends can have an impact. “In our culture, talking about money makes people very uncomfortable for some reason. It is important to discuss financial issues both in the professional and personal arena. It just makes things simpler and transparent.” Sakshi says because she was able to discuss personal finance within her circle of support, she empowered herself to reach out for more.
In our culture, talking about money makes people very uncomfortable for some reason. Everything is taken for granted and taken on assumption basis – Sakshi.
Talking Money helps you hold on to it
As per a survey done by Monster Index, women are typically paid only 80 percent of their male counterparts. “If women suffer from a gender pay gap, how do we close it? We must know what the gap is, how we should negotiate and therefore how we should ask for more,” says Archana Surana, an educator and founder of ARCH Design Academy.
Being informed about economic decisions, taking charge of your own finances – should be normalised says Sarika Bhattacharya, CEO of Beyond Diversity, an organisation that works with corporations on diversity and inclusion. She insists on weaving in conversations on money while mentoring women.
Get Advise, Talk To Experts
Although people believe that men have a golden hand at investment, studies have shown that it isn’t actually so. Keeping in mind various aspects, it has been proven that women can be just as good at investing if not better. Seeking advise is the first step in making the most of one’s money. “Talking money also gives you confidence to get specialised from experts. It also helps you grow your wealth,” adds Archana, who has over the last few years built a full fledged education business. Not just that, adds Sakshi, we must treat financial advise like any other advise. When we need support, we go out and find people to solve for us.
If women suffer from a gender pay gap, how do we close it? We must know what the gap is, how we should negotiate
How Money Empowers Us
Knowledge is power, and when that knowledge helps you become more independent, helps you take your own decisions and live your life on your own terms, it translates to empowerment. Money gives us the flexibility in our lives and business. It is okay to change a lot in your way when you have the money because money really gives you options to do whatever you want.
There are plenty of things we are taught not to talk about: our periods, sex, relationship goals, ambition — and the list goes on. Let’s make a real effort to turn women talking about money from a no-no to a yes-yes.