Shattered Glass Ceiling???

women-and-moneyJust yesterday, my daughter and I were discussing money management, investment and the need to be mindful of our spending habits.

Women are for the most part the money managers of the household, despite what her male spouse might think. We decide how much is the supermarket money, which will be spent on entertainment – after all the other high priority items have been paid.

High finance is not my thing. On any given day, the stock market, fractional shares, investment funding, even pension funds make very little sense to me. However, there are women who are more comfortable with these money matters than they are with planning a dinner menu. So many women now understand the importance of money and how to manage it. They know how to stretch their money if needed, they know how to save money, invest it or even use Credit Cards to Build Credit. It’s great that women are so savvy with their money and know how to spend it wisely!

Women Locked Out

Why then are they not being encouraged, just like the “boys,” in the investment funding sector?

A recent study revealed that while “more women in the United States are making their own investment decisions than ever before.” Going deeper, the report stated that “19% of women are the primary decision-maker for couples’ long-term retirement savings.”

Author of the article on Morning Star, Laura Lutton, continued with this disappointing statement:

“Yet the ranks of professional money managers who are women remain exceedingly small. We examined the gender of U.S. open-end fund managers in our database and found that only 9% are women. Women exclusively run only 2% of assets under management in the $12.6 trillion U.S. open-end mutual fund universe.”

glass_ceilingWhy is this so? If women can successfully manage the retirement investment and manage the finances of small to large corporations, then why is such a small percentage represented in a sector that affect the global economy?

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Sexism? The big boys have locked themselves in – even the windows are barred?

Not all or even many of us aspire or have the ability to captain more than our household funds but of the “7,700 individuals who are named portfolio managers of U.S. open-end mutual funds as of March 31, 2015 – there must be more than two percent who would be superb stewards?

Women Make More Money – Over Time

Multiply this by the numbers of women in major capitals across the world potentially fund managers but are being blocked for obscure, gender, ageism, and other discriminatory reasons.

CNN Money had a very damning and poignant comment on this arising from an interview with Tracy Chen, a woman, and an investment manager with about $66 billion in assets:

“While decision making may vary from person to person, Chen has found that women tend to have more long-term investment styles and are more risk averse than men. Those traits help make more money over time.”

Is the glass ceiling still intact and is this what is happening in this sector?

Glass Ceiling Shattered – Now What?

Many agree that the sky is now the limit for women, the ceiling has been blown away and it is now up to women to make their way to the top. However, it is a winding road:

“A better metaphor for what confronts women in their careers is the term “labyrinth” because it “conveys the idea of a complex journey toward a goal worth striving for. Passage through a labyrinth is not simple or direct but requires persistence, awareness of one’s progress, and a careful analysis of the puzzles that lie ahead.”

That is how the ‘current situation’ in a Forbes Magazine article, written by Lisa Quast.

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labWomanist, independent thinker and one who has no interest in funds management (although if I did, I’d probably start with a digestible info source like Stocktrades), I find much to agree with that labyrinth analogy. It is applicable as well to those of us who are playing on other fields – even this one of blogging, social media venture, and content curation.

“Suck it up precious, learn the road, get the lesson and use it to your benefit tomorrow.”

That was basically my prescription to my daughter yesterday as we discussed her supermarket and childcare budget. It cannot be easy for those 98% of women who are yet to chart the course of investment for the organizations and it certainly is not an easy pill to swallow.

An ingrained culture of any sort is hard to change but not impossible. If more of us stay the course without losing our voices and killing that of our sisters’ (a topic for another post) it might just in my granddaughter’s lifetime.

So, if you are in the money business or any field where the labyrinth seems extremely winding and long, swallow the pill, follow the path, memorize the shortcuts and Speak Up!

You can start now by leaving a comment here and sharing with your friends across social media.

Namaste

Image sources: sacredtexts.com, hellogiggles.com and pinterest.com

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