Women earn 76 percent of what men earn, resulting in an average lifetime differential of $250,000, according to a recent report. Shocking statistics like this underscore why women must advocate for themselves and make smart, informed decisions, especially when it comes to finances.
At Summit, we believe that in order to build women’s confidence and financial literacy, we have to be comfortable talking about money. To get that conversation going, we’re encouraging women to:
To help women build their financial literacy, we decided to embark on an entirely new type of project that would address these exact concerns: a TV commercial centered on common money questions, acknowledging financial mistakes and building financial confidence. To stay true to our core audience, the cast and crew were primarily female, while we also worked with a female director – something surprisingly rare in the industry.
While remaining inclusive, we placed an underlying emphasis on women. Having questions is human; we’ve all been there. So why are people – especially women – so reluctant to talk about money?
Our thinking was that if we could start a conversation about money management and, honestly, mismanagement, we could shed light on how people can use financial education as a tool to become more comfortable and confident when managing their money – including asking questions.
Speak Up About Money
There are certainly some common questions that are difficult for people to talk about openly. For instance, the majority of the collective population lives paycheck to paycheck, but this is something women are extremely reluctant to admit. We can help women figure out how to stop living paycheck to paycheck, but in order to start that conversation, we need to get more comfortable talking openly about money management challenges.
Another example: women are hesitant to ask questions about investments. CNN reported last year that just 43 percent of women said they were confident in their investments compared to 56 percent of men. Additionally, one-fourth of women surveyed said they were on track to save for retirement compared to one-third of men. And when you look at investment ads, you’ll see male after male after male. So, it’s clear there isn’t a collective effort to encourage women to talk about investments, let alone think they could be great at investing.
Knowing these subjects can heighten vulnerability, it was very important to our team to encourage women to speak up about the challenges they’re facing, and then help connect them with educational resources that can empower them to be more confident.
Lift Each Other Up
We should all do as much as we can to ensure women have a seat at the table and remind them that their opinions are truly valued. As our talented and dynamic TV director Judy Starkman put it, “Female empowerment is about equality and being treated with respect. If there’s ever been a moment, now is the moment for us to be heard.”
When it comes down to it, empowered women empower women and, therefore, getting more women into higher positions is crucial. Women need to lift each other up and inspire one another.
We need to give women opportunities to showcase their talents and help propel other women into leadership roles. Men play a key role in this, too. They need to advocate for and support women just as much as women do for fellow women.
We implore women who are just beginning their careers to simply go for it. Speak up. Dream big. You can do it! Our goal is to assure every woman that it’s OK not to know all the answers right away. However, through confidence and planning she can get on track with her goals and achieve the life she wants. An empowered attitude and confident perspective apply to any woman, in any scenario, in any industry.
Both on and off camera, we’re empowering women to own it in their financial lives and helping them realize their full potential personally, professionally and financially.
Find more ways to get empowered on our Money Smarts Blog.