Why Isn't There A Colin Kaepernick in Finances?
Why there isn’t there a Colin Kapernick in Finances?
Note: This article will consistent of opinions that are mine. I am a Certified Financial Educator. I am studying to become a fiduciary, but I do not tell people what they should do, but I provide options.
Today we’re going to uncover the ugly truth of finance and create a dialogue around true financial activism. Whether you like it or not we live in capitalist society it’s important to look at the ugly truth of money and who’s been at the forefront making decisions. After we’ll look at some take-aways to make mini financial movements.
The Unsurprising Truth
About a year ago, Vice President of Starbucks, Melody Dobson wrote a compelling article asking the public why there aren’t any freedom fighters for corporate finance. In so many words Dobson said there is a small percentage of women and minorities fighting for economic issues. Economic issues are the end all be all when it comes to building a future, communities, and families and simply to answer Melody Dobson question, there just aren’t enough females or freedom fighters in finance.
When we break down the percentage women in finance it’s around 35 percent of women are Financial Planners. Less than two percent are African American and Latino. When we look at women that are in leadership positions women in venture capital and private equity, women held just 9% and 6% of the positions, respectively. There is literally only one female stock trader on the floor of the NYSE.
For years we’ve always talked about how finance is a man’s game, and although we don’t admit it many of us do not think that we are good with money. Sadly, I have had many encounters of women that don’t want to think about money. I used to be one of them.
My Sad Money Story
As someone who appears good with numbers it wasn’t until I had an altercation with an accounting teacher that made me realize that I can understand money.
A couple of years ago I took an accounting class as a pre-requisite for my MBA. I was struggling with my classwork. This may in part because I was working full time or that it my first math class after college. Most of the class didn’t understand some of the concepts.
My teacher must have had a rough day because he was not in good spirits. It appeared that everyone was in the class was asking too many questions. I ended up asking the last question that set his temper off and he yelled directly at me.
Don’t you know this stuff? I don’t think you know anything about math.
I lashed out at him and told him he was disrespectful to me in front of the class. He apologized to me after class. Not in front of the class, because he wanted to demonstrate a power dynamic. I dropped the class, because I don’t think that being disrespected by an adult is acceptable. But for I awhile, I started to get that feeling that I wasn’t good at math or money. It’s very disempowering to feel unintelligent.
Flash forward to a couple of years. I read Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power. In a nutshell the Laws explain how people use power dynamics to get what they want. At the core everyone has positive intentions, but we use power and manipulation to get that outcome. Isn’t that a crazy thought?
You want to do good in your brain, but someone got to get got to achieve that.
The most memorable law was Number 22 Transform Weakness into Power. I wasn’t “good” at math, but I knew I could be. In graduate school I’ve taken two accounting classes and I’ve gotten A’s in both of them. Was it hard? #$% Yes. Did I cry a couple of times? Yes
For most, money isn’t a conversation that is discussed at the dinner table. It may be because we have a lot of money shame and myths and finance.
Myth 1: I’m not good at numbers...
Do you know how to pay your bills? Have you also finished high school? GED? Then you are good at numbers. It’s hard to wrap your head around it. YOU are GOOD with NUMBERS. Historically, we know that women lose interest in math between the ages of 11 to 15. There are several factors gender stereotypes, small percentage of role models, etc.
Myth 2: Stop Blaming the Education System
Oh My Gawd! A whopping 99 percent of adults agree that personal finance should be taught in schools. If most people are living paycheck to paycheck 70% percent to exact, how can we expect teachers to be the experts at financial planning? Currently, one in five teachers feel confident in teaching personal finance in high school.
Eighty Percent of Teachers are Women.
As a former educator there are two factors, that people do not consider when they are blaming educators. 1) time, and 2) testing. Educators are being pulled all types of ways to cater to parents, faculty, and lesson plan at the same time. That is a lot of time. Until we put personal finance as a Common Core Standard, it will not be taught, because we still in many ways are teaching to the test.
Myth 3: It’s for White Men Only
White males dominate the financial space. It’s a well-known, but one of the most common things that I’ve heard from women is that men don’t want women in the financial industry. If men don’t want, you to work in their firm or company than you find another one that cares about you as a woman. You are valuable, and your opinions are different and people value uniqueness.
When I told people that I was going to transition from working in the education industry to finance many people told me that I would have hard time. There were many comments about how black people get screwed over. I heard from several women that people of color would distrust me the most. L
In all honesty the odds of entering the financial field as a minority gender or race can be really challenging. There are definitely terrible instances of companies screwing people over based off of microaggressions. I’m looking at you Merrill Lynch. The good news is with the Me-Too movement and podcast that are discussing women in finance.
The truth is if we don’t try and apply to jobs in the financial industry we won’t ever be able to dominate the finance space. If women are in finances economic issues would change. When the economy crashed in 2008, it was the women in Iceland that changed it around. It wasn’t because women are better than men. It was because it was a different perspective.
This is important because you may be looking for a job in your sector, but you could be looking to find a job in finance. What’s stopping you. Numbers? Experience? You are very skilled in numbers.
If we don’t start thinking about how women can make a change with money we will still be in the same boat in ten years. Looking for a politician to help us make money issues.
Let’s say that you love your job and you don’t ever want to leave, well in that case you can start mini money movements. These movements can help activate others, and who knows maybe instead of Colin Kapernick we have some more Melody Dobsons, or Elisabeth Warrens that switched to finance because of these movements.
Making Real Money Moves. Steps to Activate Your Money
1. Find your Financial BFFs.
All boss babes have financial best friends. Do you have a house, business, or job? If you can answer yes to one or more then you might get a lawyer. Lawyers get a bad rep, but they can be great financial bffs. Getting a lawyer, may be as simple as requesting a consultation which are 99% free and building a rapport with someone who is a professional. There will always emergencies, having a lawyer can help ease any legal issue that pops up.
If you can’t get to a lawyer in place at least have Legal Zoom in your wheel house. Legal Zoom helps women with many legal options, from drafting a will to starting a business legally. Legal Zoom offers a flat fee for each legal designation.
Accountants are another financial best friend. Personally, I was terrified of accountants. Little did I know that accountants are gangsters. Have you ever had a relative or a friend that would go to a store and haggle for a cheaper price? That is what an accountant does but for your budget.
2. Hold a forgiveness party
This is probably the most woo-woo request out of all them. As women, we were always taught to hold our emotions in. Always smile and be nice. These emotions are translated to money too. We all have money story from our mother, father, etc., but how do we actually feel about our money story? Are we crushing it? Or are we constantly, trying to put a financial smile on. These are the questions that we have to start asking ourselves.
This is where a forgiveness party takes place.
A forgiveness party is a party where you and your friends write down your money story down and burn your story. For those of you that are unaware of money story, it’s where one writes down their past experiences. Writing down your money moments allow you to visually see what real thoughts you have about money. Writing through life has a week worth’s of money story writing prompts to help you figure out your money story. One of most, memorial writing prompts is:
If money was your lover, would you still be dating them?
After you write down your thoughts about money, read the thoughts out loud. Reading your money stories, will be one of the humbling experiences that you will have. One of the reasons is that money creates vulnerability around people. Having you a-ha money stories is just as important as any moment. After your story. Burn that mother up!
Burning letters have a significant feeling
As someone who is an ENTJ and doesn’t like to get woo, woo. I realized that writing down my money story was just important as writing as resume. When I first wrote my money story about two years ago, I realized that there were some positive money moments in my life but.... I also realized that I had a fear of abandonment with my money story.
My first thought about money is that money was going leave me. Some people that have abandonment issues stem from divorce or a parent moving away. Learning about my money story also helped me with my relationship story. Anytime I dated someone I tried to sabotage the relationship before it even started.
Want to discuss more topics about Money? Join our Money and Flow FB group
3. Write a Job Reflection
Updating your resume is good. Writing a Job Reflection is even better. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner or a server, you acquire skills every day. Be it conflict management, or coding, we often times forget simple things as learning how to send an autoresponder via email or learning how to meal prep (that’s an organization skill, y’all).
Writing down a list of things that you’ve learn on a google doc or a piece of paper will help you understand that your skills are valuable. You have valuable skills that you should celebrate. Have coffee with a recruiter. Ask around recruiters, to see what are the job responsibilities of your job? See if you have acquired those skills. Uncover what people get paid to do your job at other companies.
4. Money book club
Book clubs enhance your community and conversation. Starting a money book club helps you enhance your money muscle. If you already belong to a book club recommend a money book. If money book clubs are non-existent in your community. Hop over to our Facebook group Money and Flow book club. We are reading The Broke and Beautiful Life by Stefanie O’Connell.
5. Understand your Financial Ladder
If you’re sick you go to the doctor’s office. If you get in a car accident you call your insurance agency. Why not look at your money if you’re feeling stuck on the financial train. There are different ways to seek help and guidance for money.
There’s a Financial Coach, Adviser, or a Certified Financial Planner. There’s a difference between each of the financial cheerleaders, and together we’ll break them down.
A financial coach looks at habits and systems. They analyze your budget and help you understand and unlock your money habits and expenses. They typically have a pretty affordable rate to help.
A financial Adviser is someone who is more on the transactional side. Financial Advisors have a wide spectrum of services, but it mostly product-focused. has at the other end of the spectrum are services provided by financial advisors that may be hands-off and purely transactional or product-focused. If you want to get mutual funds you could speak to someone that works for Vanguard.
Certified Financial Planner swore under oath to look after the clients best interest. Like a Lawyer, CFPs must take a financial test with a board. CFPs have the ability to look at habits and systems and offer recommendations based off of your goals.