How much does gender still affect our attitudes around finances?
At our most recent Womens’ Circle, we visited a metaphorical Barbie Land to discuss all things pink and patriarchal.
Together we explored the ways in which gender expectations have influenced our personal – and collective – experiences with money. We also reflected on some defining moments in our financial lives, celebrating the steps we took and the setbacks we encountered as we began to shoulder more financial responsibility.
Thinking about the effects of gender on our personal relationships to money, many of us thought back to the cultural, societal and familial expectations we faced during our formative years. Lots of participants grew up with a “traditional” male breadwinner in their family and observed from a young age that handling the family finances was a male role. Many participants said parents and role models followed these social guidelines, which in turn shaped our own understanding of financial responsibility.
A few participants also struggled with partners or family members who weren’t transparent about money, which caused family rifts and made it difficult to have a voice in the conversation.
Money in the Workplace
Many of us also faced money barriers in the workplace: doing better work than men but being paid less, not getting a raise we’d clearly earned, and having to show proof that we were being treated unfairly. One circle member specifically recalled being told that women shouldn’t get paid as much because “they didn’t need it – they were married!“
Recounting these experiences, we also identified the steps we had to take to stand up for ourselves throughout our lives. Many of us started by demanding more transparency around money, especially with partners and family members. We also took the initiative to educate ourselves, especially if we’d been excluded from financial discussions in the past.
Advocating for Ourselves
We learned the value of our time, insisted on being heard, and worked to heal our relationships with money.
Many attendees said a divorce or a death in the family was the catalyst for taking control of their finances, forcing them to learn the ropes very quickly. Finding a new, separate financial advisor or starting a budget were some of the top tips shared.
Although we continue to face barriers, we all said we found some comfort in knowing we’re not alone. In the spirit of Barbie, we can always find community and strength in each other.
Please join us for future women’s circle discussions: To add yourself to the mailing list, please send email to [email protected]. Our next event will be on December 12, to discuss setting intentions for 2024.
Perigon Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. More information about the firm can be found in its Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request by calling 877-977-2555 or by emailing [email protected]