Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie delivered the ultimate mic drop in her 2012 TEDTalk “We Should all be Feminists.” I hope she doesn’t mind me slightly altering it to say “We should all be financial feminists.”
Financial feminism is the child of feminism, a movement rooted in the fight for equality. In the money nerd world, people such as myself have put the focus on fighting for financial and economic equity- meaning equal pay, childcare, financial literacy, and closing the racial wealth gaps.
And around here we care a lot about being a financial feminist. So much so that we host the Financial Feminist Summit for FREE every year.
Why You Should Be a Financial Feminist
Why Do We Need Financial Feminism?
Simply put, because the world is a deeply unequal place, and that is frighteningly clear when it comes to the world of money.
We talk about the wage gap often; a lot of people have heard that women make an average of $.77 to a white man’s dollar.
But when we dive a little deeper, we discover that women of color, trans women, queer women, disabled women, single mothers- basically anyone who is a non dude is making WAY, WAY less than a white man.
Then there’s the investing gap. The debt gap. The home ownership gap. I mean, it is just raining inequality up in here!
We treat white men like the blueprint; they are not only the standard to which we are all upheld, but they are the ones that we give the most flexibility and the most chances. We treat any non dudes like a puzzle piece that doesn’t quite fit into the already existing picture.
And that means problems, current and future, for non dudes money.
Decades of being underpaid means women are 80% more likely to retire into poverty.
Trans people are twice as likely to live below the poverty line as cis people
Women hold 2/3 of all student loan debt and are more likely to pay higher interest rates on it.
Why You Should Be a Financial Feminist
I’ve said before, and will say again, that financial feminism is not just about one woman getting rich.
Let’s not turn this into the cringey #girlboss 2.0 movement, where we focus on telling women to mimic shitty business practices and line their own pockets.
Being a practicing financial feminist is good for literally every single person on this planet. Every one.
When we pay people equally it means a couple of cold hard financial facts:
More money in the economy
There will be more money being saved and invested
More money going to more people
Let’s break them down real quick.
When there’s money in the economy, it means more money being spent on small businesses. It means more homes being bought. More taxes being paid. More businesses being started. The flow of cash runs through the whole class system, instead of being concentrated at the top.
More money being saved and invested means fewer people living on the edge. It means fewer people retiring into poverty. More people doing things like starting their own businesses with their savings, or helping their kids pay for college. It means more Americans won’t be totally knocked over by a $400 emergency. It means financial stability, and the beginning of the road to wealth.
More money going to more people means more financial equality. Studies show that when women have more money the entire family benefits. Women will spend money on children, friends, and family. That’s money that not only circulates through an immediate family, but into the economy.
Women are more likely to be on government assistance than men, so paying women equally means fewer people using those services.
How to Be a Financial Feminist
So now that I’ve convinced you to be a financial feminist, where do you start?
Get a seat in our upcoming Financial Feminist Summit (it’s free baby!) and then send the ticket page to a friend! We’ve got 10 women speakers, all experts in personal finance and business, who are here to teach us how to get our money right.
Advocate for equity in your workplace. That can look a lot of ways, like talking to your co workers about salary to see if there are disparities between equal positions. Take it even further and ask management to do a pay audit to see if there is a wage gap between men and women.
Follow and listen to non dudes in the money space. Financial feminism should uplift all marginalized voices. Follow, learn from, and pay women, trans folks, non binary folks. Diversify your money world.
Vote for candidates working towards equity. The most important changes will come top down. That means changes at the policy level, both federal and state. And if you are inclined at all, I want to encourage you to run for office yourself! A diversity of experience is so important in the legislature and the more financial feminists we have in seats of power, the better off we’ll all be.
Join us for more like this at the 2021 Financial Feminist Summit!