Who took the money from America?
…the answer is…EVERYONE…everyone who does not invest in women.
“It is simply smart business,” said Sallie Krawcheck. I had the opportunity to listen to Krawcheck speak at the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council last night. Her presence is unmatched and her drive, success and humor are impossible to miss. She has pivoted in her career from a senior corporate executive, to a research analyst and now as an entrepreneur with her company Ellevest. She said she never sought out, or really wanted to be an entrepreneur, but she came to the quick realization that she would have to take matters into her own hands if she wanted corporate America to get on board with investing in women.
She started off her dialogue explaining how she has committed herself to getting more money into the hands of women. People say that they want to solve the gender pay gap, but her points were different, they stuck out in my mind, there was substance behind them. The research and numbers she had to back up her points were untouchable. She wanted to do it for us, our daughters, society and the economy. When money is in the hands of women everyone reaps the benefits. There are higher returns on equity, increased innovation and increased consumer experience when women control money and decisions.
In her Mind The Gap guide, about dominating your financial future, there are six things she is trying to fix including the gender pay gap, the gender work achievement gap, gender debt gap, gender investing gap, gender funding gap and the gender pricing gap. Did I know what all of those things were? Absolutely not. Krawcheck’s goal is for you to learn about it and know it exists. She wants you to be aware what is going on around you, and not for you to sit back and wait for other people to change, but go be the change, because it is not just going to happen. She talks the talk and walks the walk, and because of that she cannot be stopped.
Why should we invest in women?
Women drive better results. And she highlights this conversation and movement is not about saying that women are better than men, just different. She highlights six things that women do:
- Risk Awareness
- Relationship Focus
- Ability to make decisions holistically
- Ability to keep up with complexity
- Love of learning
- Drive for Meaning & Purpose
Really she explained some characteristics that I see in myself, and explores why I have always been afraid to start investing or jump confidently into that world. I think I am too young, I don’t know all the correct answers, what happens to my future if I make the wrong decision. She acknowledged the upsides of these fears, and that some of these fears are warranted. Women have the perception and stereotype of needing their hands held, but the problem is no one will answer our questions and concerns we have. There is a mismatch between what women are and what they are looking for and what they are receiving, in both the investing world and in corporate America.
I think back to my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Royster. She had an extremely diverse classroom, whether racially, ethnically, intellectually, you name it. But we all succeeded (at least passed the end of grade tests). She explained the information differently, utilized different teaching methods and gave each student various levels of one-on-one time based on what they needed to succeed. In the world of women investing Sallie Krawcheck is doing the same, because right now women are not getting what they need. The world is not investing in us and low and behold a majority of us are not investing in ourselves. She is providing women with the tools to change their own lives and the way they think about their money, their futures and the futures of their children.
She is a huge UNC Chapel Hill basketball fan so this is probably a good reference: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. It is the same with investing, you wait and wait and wait until you have no time left, and inevitably then you miss the shot. The best time to act is now.
So while writing this blog post I am creating a profile on Ellevest to take charge of my own future, and I hope I could semi-translate the impact Krawcheck’s talk had on me in a single hour, and how it will drastically change me going forward, both in how I invest and how I view my worth.