Category Archives: Status of Women

salliecrawcheckSo excited to read the article about Sallie Krawcheck’s new offering for women investors.

Not sure who she is?  Wonder why she is involved in investing and women?  Curious to know about a new investment process which steps away from the traditional investment models?  Please just click here and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Doubly High Cost of Being Female

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Some of my friends and business associates have been out and about talking to women about business development and financial management.  There are two quotes we bring up to gently gain the attention of the women we meet.

The statistic that really grabs the audience is that the average age of widowhood is 56.  Interestingly, most men and women guess numbers in the 70s or 80s.  Big surprise.   Of course many women are choosing to stay single, but this statistic makes everyone take inventory of their relationships.

Then we talk about how women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns.  That’s in improvement over the 72 cents I used to talk about when I first started working with women and finances.  Still, something to think about.

Today as I breezed through my daily news reading on my cellphone, I found this really powerful article titled The Doubly High Cost of Being Female.  Here I found more things that I really hadn’t understood, or even thought about.  Can we fix all of it, probably not.  Can we learn and do better?  Absolutely.

To read the article, please just click here.

 

 

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Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing V

lensfunnyThis is the fifth Women and Money post in a series about gender lens investing. All are available at www.financialfreedomparty.com.

The first post introduced the concept of investing through a screening process referred to as a lens. The second gives an overview of socially responsible investing as an established type of lens investing. The third answers the question “Why gender lens investing?” and promises to look at the role of board of directors (also referred to as the board) and high level business executives in publicly traded companies. The fourth post, gives a brief overview of each of these two leadership groups and shows why they are important in understanding how gender lens investing works. This fifth post describes some specific criteria being used by one investment company as its way to screen companies, or simply how they apply the gender lens.  Those companies who meet the gender lens criteria are then eligible to be considered as part of the investment.

Once again I remind you, this blog is educational in nature and does not give  investment advice. The intent is to give an overview of gender lens investing and how it works. If you find the investment mentioned here to be something that interests you, then please seek professional advice and go through the normal process of determining whether or not it is appropriate for you.

Much of the material on investing is technical and precise.  Rather than trying to re-state it correctly, most of this post will refer you to the source documents through a series of links for you to click on.  It is the best way to learn, even if it may seem just a little tedious at first.  If you choose not to follow the links, all the pieces of this puzzle- like study won’t fit very well.  Your choice of course.

Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund is an example of gender lens investing. If there are similar funds out there, I have yet to find them.  Since this one is leading  a new way of thinking, it is a good place to start learning the details.

The link which will guide you in understanding who is involved in the development of the fund referenced above, why it was created, and how it works can be seen by clicking here.

An overview of how companies are screened, or how the gender lens is applied, is briefly described below:

Each company gets the cumulative ranking based on five criteria of gender leadership. These include the number of women representatives on boards of directors or in executive management, as well as those who have a female CEO or CFO and have signed the Woman’s Empowerment Principles, a joint initiative by the UN Global Compact and UN Women that provides guidance for companies on how to empower women in the workplace.

Besides these criteria, companies must also meet key environmental, social and governance standards

Not familiar with The Woman’s Empowerment Principles?  I wasn’t either,  They are summarized below:

The entire document may be viewed by clicking here.

Finally, more details are available by clicking here to link to the

  • Fund Fact Sheet
  • Fund Profile
  • Prospectus

You will probably find the Fund Fact Sheet and Fund Profile to be the easiest to understand.  However, the Prospectus is also a very important document.   Not sure what it is?  Next time I’ll go into details about a prospectus and why it is a valuable document to you as a potential investor or investor.

To summarize, this series of five blogs has:

  • Given a quick  lesson on the concept of investing through a screening process referred to as a lens. 
  • Explained the characteristics of the board of directors and C-level executives in publicly held companies
  • Shown how one firm is applying a gender lens to companies based on their ratio of women to men in leadership positions and the acceptance of practices as stated in the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
  • Provided links to additional  and more detailed  information on a mutual fund, Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund, which is the example used in these posts.

It will be interesting to see how this concepts spreads and impacts the world of big business and the quality of the lives of both women and men.

Please share this information with those around you.

Until next time.

 

(This information is designed to educate you about basic financial management concepts. Questions relevant to personal finances specific to the individual should be address to an appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been evaluated carefully and appropriately. The Authors and Publisher specifically disclaim any liability loss, or risk which is incurred as a consequence directly or indirectly from the use and application of any contents of this work.)

Copyright2014©by Debra Hadsall

A Pioneering Woman

 

The fifth post on Women and Money- Gender Lens investing is almost finished, but I am having a hard time ignoring this voice in my head about a pioneering woman I will call Gracey.  She died last week, after living 90+ years.  I chose to refer to her as Gracey to respect her privacy.  This name fits because she had a generous spirit yet was also a little bit sassy.

I like the terms pioneering woman and pioneering women.

A couple of months ago I was visiting with a young woman who was starting college and having lots of different experiences. She is the first in her family to graduate from high school and then the first to attend college. I told her that pioneering can be tough, but it is worth it. I know a lot of pioneering women and am grateful for those, like Gracey, who went before me.

According to dictionary.com, pioneering is described as:

A person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others.

One who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress

Pioneering can be done by those around us and not just famous people. Gracey wasn’t on the national scene like Sally Krawcheck or Senator Elizabeth Warren, both who are looking to improve the business practice of the financial services industry. She wasn’t a Beyoncé performing on a stage with millions of people watching her.  If you had known Gracey, she would have just seemed like an ordinary person living in the mountains.  Well, the fact that she lived up in the hills with beautiful scenery accompanied by snow,  icy roads, and the threat of wildfires, is probably a hint that she was a little different.

As a young woman I clearly saw Gracey as a woman ahead of her time.  This means she meets that definition quoted above as one who is first or among the earliest… in progress.  I suspect she influenced a bunch of women over the years that never saw their names in headlines or found themselves on a national stage.  Gracey just showed women another way to live and did it without apologizing. Oh yes, she was also was a woman with a striking physical appearance  and her own special sense of style.

As with anyone who lives through many generations, the world had changed a lot from the early 1900s to the time of her passing.  She seemed to have thrived and evolved through it all .  I think she must have seemed out of step with the world she lived in as a younger adult.  First, she rode motorcycles.  This was back in the day when motorcycle riding was not so prominent and “good women” certainly didn’t do that.  I am guessing her riding started in the 1950s.  It was something she and her husband  continued enjoying for many years. They loved it and went to rallies all over the country.

I remember someone mentioned that Gracey was a woman who had been divorced.  Whether I remember that correctly or not, I do remember she was Protestant and her husband was Catholic.  Things like that just weren’t  considered OK in the Midwest.  I can imagine the conversations that went on in her husband’s hometown in the Midwest.  None-the-less, she and her husband just  ignored the talk and she loved those visits to connect with relatives-in-law.  The in-laws  loved her too, because she was — different in a wonderful way.  She and her husband did not have children, also uncommon for the times.  Gracey worked outside the home.  Once again, not the norm.

Women were expected to share the political beliefs of their husband.  Somebody apparently forgot to tell Gracey.  She had strong opinions and they weren’t always ones her husband shared.  That seemed to me to be a really brave thing to do for a woman who came from a generation that was taught men were in charge and women were to follow along.

Gracey and her husband were kind and generous hosts to those of us who had the chance to  travel up the hill to their home. They celebrated our son’s birthdays with us when he was a child. Dinner was served under the trees on their land. Our son had his own outdoor venue of trees, mountains, and picnic tables set up for the celebration.  Ice cream and cake in the great outdoors.  Pretty big stuff even for grownups, very memorable for a child.

Once I was having a glass of wine in the kitchen at the mountain home (yup, wine was involved in these visits), and I looked outside through the window. It was only then that I realized there was no screen on the window and I was literally cleaning up the dishes while feeling like I was standing in the forest. It was stunningly beautiful and peaceful. She loved it when people were excited about the mountain home she and her husband built. It was just a special place.

So, I thank you Gracey for being a pioneering woman and for hanging tough, being yourself, showing women how to be comfortable in their skin, and for celebrating life with zest and passion!  You also showed others how to be independent yet gracious, fun loving, and passionate about life, family and friends.  Women like you were the inspiration for my financial freedom woman below.  If only I was a talented graphic artist who could show this woman on a motorcycle riding through the mountains.  That would have been so very “you”.

Hooray for pioneering women and thanks to all those pioneering women who are simply a daily part of our lives and don’t even know they are doing something special and meaningful.

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Until next time.

 

 

Copyright2014©by Debra Hadsall

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