Press "Enter" to skip to content

How can we make finance more female friendly?

Growing up, my parents had two very distinct money manifestos. While my dad was focused on the long-term, it was my mum who was in charge of paying the bills, buying the groceries and balancing the family budget from week to week.

I can still see my mum sitting at the kitchen bench with a calculator in one hand and a pen in the other. The bench covered in bank statements and credit card bills, as well as a pile of cash, weighed down by a Tupperware container in which she hid it.

I don’t think my experience is all that unusual. Back in the day, being smart with money meant knowing how to stretch the family dollar. Many women were raised to believe that their husbands would be responsible for investing and long-term saving.

That’s not to say that this is still the norm. I think women, especially Millennial women are increasingly taking control of their financial futures. However, it’s an uphill battle with an industry that has long catered to men.

Finance is a male dominated industry

tom
Financial jargon aside, every time I watch Tom Piotrowski deliver a finance report on TV I am confused by his insistence on hiding his handsome face behind a genuinely atrocious beard.

Check any news site or television finance segment and you’ll see that the people writing or talking about finance are pretty much middle-aged white men who look like (or are) David Koch. The finance industry thrives on the use of jargon and acronyms which do more to exclude, rather than include.

Because the financial services industry is dominated by men (only one in five financial advisors in Australia is female) women are not getting their needs met when they seek advice or try to learn about money.

How can we make finance more female friendly?

Women want jargon-free communication, a high level of interaction and the presentation of a range of alternative strategies and products when they seek financial advice.

Young Australian women are more independent and educated than ever, accounting for almost 60 percent of university graduates and 34 percent of business owners.

Things are changing

In the last few months two of my friends have purchased shares for the very first time, and I couldn’t be more delighted for them. The fact that this blog even exists (and you lovely people read it) means times are changing. The financial services industry and the way it communicates just needs to catch up.

5 Comments

  1. Pia Pia June 20, 2017

    I definitely agree on jargon free! I want no-nonsense approaches, not big words that bore me to tears.

  2. “who look like (or are) David Koch” – I laughed at this but I immediately felt sad when I realised how true this is. Like Pia, I agree with the the jargon-free communication, and all the more with high level of interaction. I’m sure you’ve seen/read about that debate between him and Natalie, that was frustrating. Natalie asked legit questions and all he could say was trust him because he knows his stuff. I don’t think it works that way.
    I think that this is not only true in Australia, it is the same in the US as well. One female blogger, Kara, has started Bravely (http://www.bravelygo.co/), which is women-focused. I think Mrs. ONL mentioned another one, but I can’t remember it off the top of my head. Maybe one day we’ll have something of our own, too.

  3. Miss Money Box Miss Money Box June 22, 2017

    I’m glad you enjoyed my reference to Kochie (and his lookalikes). I did see the debate between Kochie and Natalie Barr – she made some good points about the Sydney property market to which he didn’t really have a proper response for (as you said). I will definitely have a look at Bravely, thanks for the tip!

  4. Dividends Down Under Dividends Down Under July 17, 2017

    Tom Piotrowski! I am very impressed with how long he has been the 10 news finance guy, I was shocked to see his crazy beard recently – I guess nobody is immune from this hipster trend turning mainstream.

    I agree that a lot of finance is fancy jargon – I dunno about you, but i get the feeling that a lot of the men dominating the business want to feel super duper smart, if they used normal words they wouldn’t be so ‘impressive’. Hats off to the guys who are including women as equals in the finance space.

    Mrs DDU

Comments are closed.