There is a long-held myth that women are not good at managing money. “Women actually have a very good sense about them and have a great ability to think long-term, to not get emotional about money, to be methodical about investing their money, and I think if they just give themselves a chance, it’s something that they will do very well,” says Kathleen Entwistle, senior vice president at UBS Financial, founder of Entwistle Partners and host of the UBS podcast Smart Money Talk.
Entwistle says many of the women who have come through her financial literacy classes didn’t understand their own finances. But what she saw was that by giving these women some guidance, they were able to become more financially confident and have more independence, something that is particularly important given that 59 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 34 defer major financial decisions to their significant others. “A lot of the decisions that we make have to do with finances and money,” Entwistle says. “And if we’re not involved in the financial decisions, then we’re not involved in decisions about our futures, our goals, our values, our priorities.”
We know that women in the U.S., on average, make about 85 cents to every dollar a man makes. But part of what causes this disparity is that many women leave the workforce to take care of children. Entwistle stayed at home with her own children for 12 years, but during that time she began volunteering in her community and taking positions on boards as treasurer, which ultimately led to president, a trajectory she says became a pattern for her—a pattern that helped her reenter the workforce with an on-the-spot job offer. This is why Entwistle believes the skills women develop outside of the workforce matter so much, especially when it comes to jumping back into it. But she makes it clear that while money and finance is important, it shouldn’t define anyone’s worth.
“For me, worth is being able to raise my children to be happy and balanced and to find something they’re passionate about and do well in,” Entwistle says. “It is about helping others to understand their personal wealth and educate them on what they can do to improve the outcome of their financial picture.”
On the Women & Worth podcast, sponsored by Charles Schwab, influential women engage in meaningful conversations about financial planning, investment strategies, career development, opportunities to invest in women and more with Worth’s CEO Juliet Scott-Croxford. Together, they discuss significant challenges women face in the workplace and society at large, in the hopes that doing so may chart a path forward to accelerate progress.