The statistics are grim when it comes to financial literacy among women–especially when put up against the state of financial literacy among men.
However, don’t be discouraged! With a little know-how, we not only can match, but can actually surpass the advantage men have in the world of finance. According to Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, a professor at Dartmouth who is regarded as a leading academic in the field of financial literacy, women “might be better financial decision makers [than men].”
In an illuminating blog post entitled, “Women and Finance,” Dr. Lusardi highlights this heartening financial phenomenon and attributes it to several truisms about the differences between men and women:
- Women make decisions with the well-being of others in mind
- Women steer clear of excessive risk
- Women do not consider themselves “financial geniuses” (i.e. overconfidence that can often lead to mistakes in financial decision making)
Despite these qualities, we have noticed from our own friendships and networks that money is not topic of conversation among women in social settings in the same way it is for men.
While women are often intimidated by the subject of money, Dr. Lusardi’s findings should encourage us to understand that we have a unique and complementary point of view to bring to the table currently dominated by men, if we can simply fully tap into our potential when it comes to financial literacy.
Dr. Lusardi’s work has been a key inspiration for us here at GoGirl. She points out that women have recently been plucked for national financial positions in the face of a financial crisis that requires confidence be restored. For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission is now headed by a woman, and its Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is also headed by a woman.
To read more about women and their breakthrough to the executive world, see our related post, “Women Are From Venus.”