Take a look at the way women’s magazines talk about money and then compare it to how men’s magazines talk about the same and you’ll surely notice something quite odd. While the former talks about saving money and deal-hunting, the latter talks about money in terms of power and luxury. Founder and chief executive officer of Starling Bank, based in Britain, said after she discovered gendered financial advice, “Had I been influenced by these magazines my whole life?”
Women are told to cut back on coffee to save up for a new pair of shoes
After commissioning a study on the gendered language around money, it was found that 65 percent of financial articles targeted towards women categorized women as heavy spenders, while the ones aimed towards men focused on how men should make money. “Women are told to cut back on coffee to save up for a new pair of shoes. With men, money is all about power suits and investing and long-term goals. Supercars and yachts and people looking quite smug,” said Boden. While money isn’t gendered, the way it is marketed to men and women is, and something like frivolous spending is not a female problem alone, there are many men who cannot control themselves when it comes to spending money. Over the years, the media has been feeding the public with the myth that women are bad with money and it has now stuck with both men and women; it’s how the financial world is being socialized. This is simply not reserved for financial articles but also how girls and boys are raised to deal with money. Studies reveal that boys were more likely to be taught about investing and credit scores than girls.
This Mad Men culture exists all over the world and it is affecting women
#MakeMoneyEqual, a hashtag started by Boden aims to challenge society and how it views women and money. She said, “We’re calling upon business owners, news editors, podcast writers, and copy checkers to talk about money equally. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I think the best practice is to stop and think.” Also, the culture that men need to be providers and women caregivers affects how people think about money and who it should belong to. This Mad Men culture exists all over the world and it is affecting women and their bank accounts in the worst way possible. Hence, it is not surprising when men report that they are very confident financially and that 56 percent of women leave financial decisions, particularly investments, to their husbands. The fact is that money is power and women need more money and more power in today’s world if they must overcome the financial gap.
Image credit: BBC