We’ve all been there. You’re having a normal conversation with a member of the opposite sex, and you can just feel it coming. You’re making your points. He’s making his. And then suddenly it happens.
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence in financial services, an industry dominated by men. We’re told that if we just cut down on our shopping, we’ll save more money. Or if we give up our one coffee a day. When couples visit an advisor, scenarios like these often happen:
“I was patronized if I asked questions” or “He would not make eye contact with me. I was just there.” And even, “Sometimes I would pick up a magazine and start reading it right in the middle of the meeting; he wouldn’t even notice.”
Here’s the disconnect: Women do have the capacity to understand money, despite being told for generations that we don’t.
And if that wasn’t enough to wake you up to the fact that we should be given more credit than we are, here’s another one: Ninety percent of women will be responsible for their finances exclusively at one point in their lives.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t consider gender at all when it comes to finding any service providers we’re looking for. But when it comes to money, a female advisor could have a different approach.
Simple: Who wants to get advice from someone who has no frame of reference for what you might experience on a daily basis?
As a financial advisor who works specifically with female clients, I know my approach is different from many of my male counterparts.
This is why I think this approach to successful financial planning is important:
In the essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” author Rebecca Solnit explains that mansplaining isn’t just annoying, but perpetuates the idea that women are inferior.
“It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; it crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world," Solnit writes. "It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence.”(Reporter)
At no time during a financial planning meeting should anyone feel talked down to or “less than” – this is your money, and you have everything it takes to understand it, make more of it, and manage it.
If you’re reading this and have either experienced the mansplaining scenario with your own advisor or it’s something you’re trying to avoid as you look for a financial planner, it’s important to think about the following.
Would you be comfortable talking to this person about:
If you’re picturing the mansplaining that could happen during one of these conversations with your financial advisor, it’s time to make a change.
Here’s how you should feel after a conversation with your advisor:
Ready to cut down on mansplaining in your own life? CLICK HERE to make an appointment.