You may be curious why we decided to delve into the realm of gender-based financial education programs. You may already have experienced men having a different approach to money, investing and wealth in general than you do. Let us explain…
How Women Learn Differently Than Men
OK, this probably won’t come as a surprise to you but we tend to pay attention to a lot of things all at the same time. Alison Armstrong refers to this as diffuse awareness. Compare this to men’s ability to focus on one task or priority at a time. Here is an excerpt taken directly from her website, Understand Men as she explains to both Adam and Eve how they are different in this area:
“While it’s natural for you, Adam, to focus on one thing at a time, for Eve, paying attention to just one thing would present an enormous challenge. Her Diffuse Awareness keeps her in tune with many different aspects of her environment and it’s almost impossible to block any of them out.
Her awareness is so keen that it will seem to her as if the things in her environment are speaking to her. They’ll say “pick me,” and “clean me” or “make me pretty.” Especially if an item is out of place, then it’ll seem as if it’s yelling at her. For example, if you leave your hunting implements near her food preparation area or your clothing near her rest area, she won’t be able to concentrate or rest until those things are out of sight.
This is why you two will feel peaceful for completely different reasons. Adam, you’ll be able to truly relax only when the result you’ve been focused on is produced. Eve, you’ll be able to relax when your environment seems “quiet” because everything is done and everything is in its place. Sometimes you’ll need to get away to a new environment that doesn’t need anything from you, in order to relax.”
Let’s look at some additional areas why learning about money with other women might be a good idea. And don’t get me wrong, most of us love a room full of testosterone-filled men but when we’re learning about money and how best to handle our finances, it works great to learn it ourselves and then take it home to our partner if there is one.
Women and men see money differently.
Note: the following are ‘genderalizations‘…this means they don’t always apply but they apply often enough to take a good long look at them.
Men see money as a way to provide and protect the ones he loves. Secondly, they see money as the way to ‘get the best girl’ in order to make smart, good-looking babies. Third, they see money as a way to complete in ways beyond the need for the right mate.
Many of these ‘meanings’ are hard-wired in our DNA and in a lot of ways this is a great thing…especially for those of us in traditional male/female relationships where the man wants to provide for the woman and by that I mean, make the majority of the income for the partnership.
(Over the past couple of decades, these roles have become quite blurred and while many men still want to provide and protect, they don’t always get the chance if their female partner has been brought up to demand that she be financially independent. None of this is good or bad, but we will explore the results of this on young marriages and relationships in a later post.)
Women, on the other hand, see money as a means for security first, and freedom second.
Women are hard-wired to be what I call ‘takercareofers‘, so money is a way for us to take care of those we love and care about. ‘Taking care of” is different than ‘providing for’. ‘Providing for’ means providing the tools, money, resources for the women to use in order to ‘take care of others’. The difference is subtle but it’s important.
For more information on how women and men see money differently, you can read this short article and also read a little more in terms of women’s ability to talk about money easier.
Why Women Need to Take Money Seriously
Ladies, if you have any doubts as to why you need to take your finances seriously, here are a few scary statistics in regard to women and money.
- Women have roughly 14 fewer years to earn, save and invest for their future than men because of raising children on one end and taking care of elderly parents on the other end of our lives.
- Women too often earn/make less money than men in the same types of jobs. The statistics differ from study to study but the message is the same. We earn less.
- Women too often end up after divorce raising the children with little to no alimony and little to no child support from the father.
- Financial stress, and stress in general, causes more health issues in women than men so there are a lot of statistics that show health as a real challenge as women without the necessary financial resources age in our society.
Bottom line, as you might have already read somewhere, it’s important that you know and understand that…
A Man Is Not A Financial Plan
The gender-based programming started with our all-girls Camp Millionaire camps in the summer many years ago. We did this because we noticed that not only did the boys out number the girls in our programs roughly 3 to 1 but the girls shrank away when it came to all of the activities we do in the programs. The boys were simply louder and more active.
The all-girls programs were a hit with the younger girls, so based on all of this information and our experience with the girls in our girls-only programs, and the statistics of how money are with money in general, we introduced a women’s financial seminar years ago called Creative Wealth for Women. It was a great hit. The ladies loved it, we saw great results, we heard great stories from the participants after the program and it gave us an enormous amount satisfaction and purpose.
Then we got busy with too many types of programs at Creative Wealth and had to cut some things out of our schedules. We had to make a tough decision…go back to the youth programs that got us started. It was a wise decision at the time but my heart has ached to return to bringing women financial education in a way that resonates with them, in an environment where they can relax and be comfortable and taught by women who have all been there and done that as they way.
This is how Celebrating Women & Wealth has come about and we’re excited beyond words for our first financial workshop for women only, coming March 12-13, 2016.
We promise that coming to this event will change your financial life in a good way. Join us please. Check out Celebrating Women & Wealth and give us a call if you have any questions. We’re here to help: 805-957-1024.
Hope to see you soon!
The Financial Literacy Lady