The way we talk to women about money
It’s been an interesting summer on many fronts – personal, professional, political (especially if you are a Brit like me). In between glasses of rose and air travel, I’ve been busy writing my book, Financial Feminism – A woman’s guide to investing for a sustainable future. It’s been a lot of fun but also an eye opener …
The gender investing gap
Now back home in the UAE, I am really digging deep into the research and pulling it together into an easy read for any woman (and actually any man) who just wants to start making a difference with their money. In particular, I have been exploring the gender investing gap – women are not investing to the same extent as men, saving less for retirement and parking more in cash. Results? Massive financial shortfalls.
Why is it happening? Much of the research indicates women lack confidence when it comes to investing, sometimes pushing them to lower risk options such as cash. If you want to know more of what I have learned, just give me a shout (or of course by my book – you can still pledge below!).
One thing really stood out – the way we talk to women is really messed up! And I am convinced it plays a MASSIVE role in our own thinking and perceptions about money and investing.
I came across some research by Starling Bank (the disruptor bank set up by total rock star Anne Boden) who undertook a linguistic study assessing 300 articles from a mix of outlets aimed at men and women. This is what they found … (wait for it)
Women were defined as ‘excessive spenders’ across 65% of the articles targeting them. They were given guidance to ‘limit, restrict and take better control of shopping splurges’, with 71% of articles encouraging them to seek discounts and bargains to save money. Articles aimed at men used language such as ‘dare’ to encourage men to ‘invest’, with implications that financial successes made readers ‘more of a man’.
My jaw hit the floor! Of course, there are limits to the study, blah blah, but this really made me sit up. What are we saying to women? To our daughters? Am I so accustomed to these descriptors that I am not noticing it anymore?! My new commitment – and I urge you to make it too – when we read this cr*p, we have to start calling it out … TODAY.