Perhaps you’re just not feeling completely happy or fulfilled in your current industry, and something is telling you that perhaps now is the time to make a major change. This could be a good thing—the truth is, job unhappiness is often a major cause of mental and physical distress and could have a wide range of negative effects on our health and well-being.
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: I think we see all ages who are interested, and it might be—obviously, it's not just people who are thinking about motherhood or pregnant themselves. This is again it's an issue that really touches a lot of people. It might be because of their own parent. It might be because, you know, like my 13-year-old, right, it's not lost in me that, you know, at this age of her life it's kind of the perfect time to be learning about these issues, well before she is thinking about whether she wants to or doesn't want to become a mom one day. But now, as she's understanding her body, and is learning about the things that she wants to do and what she wants to be in life. Like, this is like a ripe time. It's a challenging time in almost every country to be able to educate our young people about these things, but it's so important. My team at work, their ages, you know, 22 to I'm 48, so to 48. I mean it's a pretty broad age range, and I think the way that we work as a team has really helped to—like we don't really see age and numbers. It's like we're together sharing this mission and we each can kind of reach our own networks in our own way, in the way that they want to be spoken to or taught. So, we're really trying to think about that and keep an open mind about how people want to, how receptive people are, and how they want to take information in and how they want to be activated.
The lack of confidence carries a big cost. For instance, more young women than young men defer retirement planning in their 20s, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. They take Social Security early, cutting their lifetime benefits. And financial advisors have long noted that wives often defer to their husbands, even though research shows that generally speaking, women are better investors than men.
While female bankers with husbands and children to support keep quiet for fear of seeming uncommitted to their roles, she said male bankers are more likely to make their familial responsibilities widely known: "I used to work with a man who would shout about how he had four kids at home every year when it came to making redundancies or allocating bonuses."
Americans as a whole are drastically under-saved for retirement. According to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, nearly half of all families have no retirement-account savings at all.1 Women are disproportionately impacted by this shortfall for a number of reasons. Consider the socioeconomic factors that are creating obstacles for women in America today:
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You know how the world of finance can sound like it’s full of jargon and its own vernacular? That’s quite intentional. “It’s always been in the industry’s best interest,” says Whitney Morrison, a financial planner at Wealthsimple, an online investment-management service. “If it’s confusing to the point that a regular person couldn’t possibly understand it, then you have to pay someone to navigate that for you, right?” Deliberately obfuscating language is designed to be intimidating, and that intimidation is worse for women largely because male financial advisors greatly outnumber their female colleagues. Also, women who want financial advice “may be confronted with someone who doesn’t fully understand their experience or take factors that primarily concern women—like living longer, taking more career breaks—into consideration,” Morrison says.
Investing is not some get-rich-quick scheme and there is always a degree of risk. But those women who are comfortable with that risk should not be deterred by the aggressive macho investor stereotype. The proof of the increasing success of women in the world of investing can be seen in the female-focused investment firms that have sprung up. As Alexander Taussig, the senior vice president for women investors at Fidelity, has said, "The myth that men are better investors is just that -- a myth."