International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
As a financial planner, I am very aware of the specific financial challenges faced by women. Women are still paid less than men for the same work. Women often leave the workforce to care for children or other family members, with lasting impact on future earnings and savings potential. Women also tend to outlive men, requiring them to plan for a longer retirement period than male counterparts.
These are challenges I help my women clients face every day. Although the hurdles can seem overwhelming, I have reason for hope. Lately, I have been getting inquiries from young women who are seeking to get a good start to their financial lives. They want to learn good habits early on so that they can save for retirement and other goals, pay off or avoid debt altogether and learn how taxes effect their savings opportunities. These inquiries are so inspiring to me because it tells me that the new generation of women in the workplace are seeking to take charge of their own financial lives.
On a global scale, women are entering the workforce in ever increasing numbers and the number of women who hold leadership roles in business is also rising. As women gain seats on corporate boards, take on top level leadership roles and continue to seek economic parity in the workplace, the tide will continue to shift toward gender equality, not just financially. Of course, there is a long way to go yet. The struggle against inequality is difficult and ongoing. It is important that we each look for ways to make a difference in whatever way we can. For me, it is by working to help women become more financially educated, confident and prosperous.
On this International Women's Day, I celebrate women of all ages who are working hard to create economic stability and prosperity for themselves, their families and their communities.