On International Women’s Day, we hear from some of the women of Motley Fool Australia about investing and pursuing a gender-equal world.
The post Don’t take it from me. Take it from them… appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –
Today is International Women’s Day.
Frankly, the fact we need to have International Women’s Day is an indictment; but women are still paid less, have less Super, are underrepresented in positions of power and responsibility, and are far more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence.
For a society that, on a good day, wants to consider itself enlightened, that’s a helluva litany, huh?
And then there’s the last couple of weeks in Federal politics.
(If you’re someone who rails at the idea of ‘days’ for certain groups, I’m going to ask you to re-read the second paragraph, above. That’s why we need one. And yes, apparently there’s a Men’s day, too. But seriously, just harden up.)
Now, I’m a bloke, writing on International Women’s Day.
I should not be the most powerful or listened-to voice, today. That belongs to the many women who are — rightly — being heard.
I considered saying nothing. Just ceding the ground and making space. If I thought that space could or would be taken up by other women in finance, I’d gladly do it.
But for better or worse, I’m what we’ve got, on our social media feeds, our emails and one of the articles on our website.
I hope I’m adding to the conversation, rather than distracting from it.
I hope I can speak to those women and men who regularly read my writing. To share something from my perspective that can add to the discussion, without crowding women out.
To point out, from a bloke’s perspective, the importance of today as a point in time to stop, listen, and do better in future.
But that’s not all I’m going to do.
The good news is that I work with some wonderful women.
They work across all parts of our company, and while I’ll add some short words at the end, I wanted you to hear from them, today:
“Let us take charge of our financial future and take a little risk. Together, we can achieve financial success, independence, and prosperity in a COVID-19 world.”
“Having a financial capability brings you more choices in life. Traditionally, investing or money management, either on a personal level or in the professional asset management industry, was considered as a man’s job. But I believe investing may fit better for women than some other jobs because all it requires is an ability to think logically and a good temperament. And the stock market does not know if you are female or male so there’s less prejudice as long as your logic and reasoning is right.”
“The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is “Choose to Challenge” where the goal is a gender equal world.
“Studies show that women are less likely to invest than men. Is it time? Is it a lack of interest or just not understanding how to get started? Whatever the answer, it limits our ability to reach our financial goals.
“My challenge is to continue to learn more and get reacquainted with my portfolio (and by reacquainted I mean start again!) – I’m fortunate enough to work with some of the best investing talent there is. I’ll report back next year to let you know how I go!
“My challenge for you… Whether you are male or female, today is a good day to consider how you can contribute to a gender equal world.”
“For me, investing is about independence. I’ve discovered there really is no right or wrong approach to investing. Determine what your goals are and what you’re comfortable with and invest your way. And mainly, don’t overthink it, just get started!”
“It’s good for women to get into investing because we’re underrepresented in the field. Having whole industries operate as boys’ clubs does the world few favours, as we’ve seen over the last few millennia. As importantly, investing is an intellectually satisfying hobby. It encourages you to develop a deeper understanding of economics and a considered view of how the world operates versus how it purports to operate. And that makes you better at your job, whatever your job happens to be, and a more skillful negotiator in all kinds of situations. You learn to appreciate the importance of incentives, to evaluate risk, and to think strategically. Plus you stand to make a pile of filthy lucre. I recommend it.”
You bet I’m lucky to work with those women. And others besides.
They are fantastic colleagues.
And the short words I promised?
To the women reading: You’ve got this. Don’t take it from me. Take it from the wonderful women quoted above.
And blokes? Please share this with the women in your life. Not in an ‘as the father of daughters’ kinda way, but just because you have the opportunity to empower others who aren’t reading this right now.
If you have the opportunity to improve someone else’s life, and future, I reckon you’re pretty much duty bound to take it. And if it costs you nothing but the few seconds it takes to hit ‘send’, ‘forward’, ‘share’ or something else… well, I reckon you’re doubly obligated.
It truly is the least we can do.
And here’s to the end of International Women’s Day… because if it’s no longer needed, that’ll mean we’ll have gender equality.
And it’s well past time.
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Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.