Study Reveals More and More Women Are Taking Control of Their Finances
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If role models impact women’s financial behaviors it is crucial to examine the impact of media on women and finances. According to SheSource, a program of the Women’s Media Center, “on the influential Sunday morning political talk shows, women represent only 14 percent of guest appearances.” Producers' and journalists' inability to find women experts is the main reason noted for their male counterparts outnumbering them in the media. Women’s Media Center president Jehmu Greene rightly noted that "…so many time the experts that are tapped to tell our stories, to help young people envision their future...so many times those stories are told without representing half of the population."
With financial media the story can be interpreted as the financial advice, who is giving it and how the viewer, particularly women, can relate to them. Greene also pointed out that women generally are socialized to be most comfortable taking advice from their peers, their social network and people to whom they relate. "That’s why you do see us represented in higher number on social media and that now needs to be reflected in traditional media.”
The results of the Prudential report show promise of more women with financial independence now and in the future. In spite of the challenges for younger women I find the results simultaneously hopeful and overwhelming. I am less concerned with retirement planning as a single woman in the youngest age set of the study but I agree it’s something I should be thinking about. Saving and planning can be overwhelming, especially for the young, underpaid, and underemployed urban set but it’s encouraging to see that women are moving closer to financial independence. Especially for us young women who might be in the planning to plan phase of financial planning.
You can access the complete report here.
Aliza Bartfield is an NYC based event planner, yoga teacher and writer.