They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and it’s certainly true that when it comes to securing their financial future, the two sexes are worlds apart.
While men seemingly have little difficulty pursuing wealth and success, societal norms and distorted perceptions often see women taking a backseat in this arena, to their own detriment.
So, what is it that stops women from taking charge of their wealth?
And how can we change these mindsets – some of them subconscious – in order to ensure we have a more prosperous tomorrow?
According to author Lois Frankel, little girls are brought up at a distinct disadvantage, discouraged from taking an interest in their finances or pursuing higher-level maths at school.
As a result, they grow up into women who unknowingly sabotage their financial health on a daily basis.
In her bestselling book “Nice girls don’t get rich: 75 avoidable mistakes women make with money” (Time Warner, 2005), Dr Frankel reveals the behaviours and habits that are holding women back, and offers up simple tips and tricks to overcome them.
Changing with the times
Historically, many girls were taught to look for a husband with a good job, and that their salary will only be a secondary income, so they needn’t bother seeking a high-rolling career.
Girls were also often discouraged from studying mathematics and business, instead being nudged towards the understanding that men are much more strategic and money-minded, while the fairer sex is less adept when it comes to numbers.
Of course, the times are swiftly changing, and these assumptions are no longer the norm.
That said, there are some societal conventions that prevent women from becoming financially secure.
According to Dr Frankel, these include the idea that the fragile male ego couldn’t possibly cope with a woman out-earning him, and that it is unladylike to discuss money.
There’s also the misguided advice that hard work equals wealth – leading women who work long hours in challenging, underpaid jobs such as nursing or childcare to devalue their own contribution.
But, is it possible to overcome these issues and put ourselves on the path to financial security? Dr Frankel certainly believes it is!
Taking charge of your financial future
First, you’ll need to take a long, hard look at your attitudes to money and success.
Not just what you think you think, but those deep-seated perceptions you’ve had ingrained in you as a child, that you can’t seem to shake off.
Does talking about your recent promotion make you feel uncomfortable, like you’re bragging or showing off?
Ditch those thoughts immediately and be proud of your achievements!
Are you concerned that the men around you will feel emasculated by your earning power?
Welcome to the twenty-first century, where women and girls can do and be anything they set their minds to – the men will just have to get used to it.
Next, take charge of your mindset.
Mindset plays a huge role in prosperity – if you think you’re no good at something, chances are you’ll never get anywhere.
That’s why it’s so important to flip that narrative on its head and start being your own head cheerleader!
You could create a vision board, practice mindfulness, or enlist a friend to be your financial buddy, so you can keep each other on track.
And finally, when you have great successes, don’t shy away from singing your own praises.
Confidence is infectious, and your determination and achievements will not only improve your own life, they’ll inspire other women around you to do the same.
This is especially important if you have daughters, nieces or other little girls looking up to you – let’s break the cycle and teach the women of tomorrow to take charge of their finances, so they never need to overcome the challenges we’ve faced.
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