Women, Money and Power

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Some interesting – and very timely – data was reported by PadillaCRT client Allianz Life last week. Women, it appears, are taking the reins of their household finances, but many are still hesitant to do so when managing their careers.

In its newly updated Allianz Women, Money, and Power® Study of more than 1,400 women (initially conducted in 2013), Allianz Life found that the majority of women in the study (51%) claim they are the chief financial officer (CFO) of the household, and more married women (37%) report being the primary breadwinner of the family (compared to 31% in the 2013 study). Additionally, 53% of women report they either have a “great deal of responsibility” or they “do it all” when managing the household’s long-term savings and investments.

That’s great news. But delving deeper into the results, we found that despite having such a large impact on household finances, the number of women who say they “have more earning power than they’ve ever had” has decreased to 50% (compared to 57% in 2013). Factoring into this perceived decline in earning power, less than half (44%) claim they have “leaned in” at work by asking for a raise or promotion they thought they deserved. That’s alarming.

I have a wife who works. I have a young daughter who, at some point, will enter the workforce. I want both of them – and all women – to have the confidence and savvy to ask for the title and compensation that they deserve. The workplace should be a level playing field.

So what advice do today’s women have for future generations? When asked, “What advice should women pass on to their daughters or granddaughters about money?” Allianz Life found that women thought future generations should focus on having financial independence and creating a good financial plan. The vast majority of respondents advise to: start planning early (81%); not depend on others for financial security (72%); create a good financial plan (72%); and learn how to invest money (65%). In comparison, a smaller number of women (56%) advise their daughters or granddaughters to advocate for themselves (or “lean in”) at work to get the salary they deserve.

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