Today is International Women’s day.
Along with other UK Money Bloggers we decided to do a roundup of posts about women and finance and dedicate them to all women. The first International Women’s Day was in 1909, a day when women fought for equal rights and good working conditions. Now, over 100 years later, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve gone. I am eternally grateful to all the feminists and egalitarians for fighting hard for our rights – we wouldn’t be here without them.
We still have a bit to go before in terms of equality, which is why I’m dedicating my International Women’s day article to female students who aren’t sure what to study or are considering studying finance. Here are some pretty cool benefits to studying finance (it’s not boring, trust me).
Get into a good job market
First of all, finance is a very broad subject. It includes careers ranging from financial planner, to accountant all the way to investment banker and business analyst. There’s a huge variety, which means that you can really pick and choose. Really don’t like accounting? Try out investing. Hate dealing with customers? Get on the corporate level. Hate your boss? Time to change job – it won’t be too hard to find other options.
Second of all, the starting salaries are pretty sweet (ranging from £23,180-£45,000 according to Save the Student). You get a pretty good salary with potential for growth: going up the corporate ladder.
It’s also one of those degrees which allow you to work on your own. Once you have enough experience, you can leave your company behind and set up your own consulting firm/investments/accountancy. This kind of flexibility is attractive to women who are worried about their job if they start a family. Just so you know – the options are there.
Earn skills for life
Although a finance degree is not exactly personal finance, it’s still better than nothing. You’ll grasp the basics of accounting, economics and how money works around the world. Even if you decide to not get a job in finance, you’ll have some skills that will help you manage your own money.
These skills are also valuable in other jobs. Many careers also value a degree in finance: business, education, marketing, etc. Everyone wants someone who can understand the numbers and how to manage them, so your finance degree won’t ever go unnoticed.
Shape your personality
Although debatable, I do believe a degree in finance builds character. Managing numbers, attending clients, finding quick solutions to unexpected problems, working on future strategies… these are all skills to be found in the various finance positions. You learn to take on responsibilities and to deal with the intricacies of a company – not an easy feat.
Especially as a woman in finance: working in a male-dominated industry has its challenges. You have to learn to be confident and assertive, to be able to take risks and confront co-workers – but without ever being ashamed of your ‘feminine side’or having to sacrifice half your life. More on this below.
Be one of the few
Women in the finance industry are hugely lacking. Women represent only 20% of financial services boards! Guys… that’s not even a quarter.
The causes for this are many: a faulty education system, an unflexbile industry, society’s standards or a lack of confidence/encouragement in women.
Joining the finance industry shows the world how essential women are to the sector: we bring new ideas to the table, we help innovate and we know how to lead. What we need is encouragement; flexible workplaces, non-sexist co-workers and equal pay. The more women who join and advocate for these rights, the more will join in the future.
Mentoring other women is so important – it makes the process of joining the industry easier and helps women deal with the different challenges that men don’t face. Helping each other out is a crucial part of striving for equality, one of the core elements of International Women’s Day.
One of my dreams is to become the next Warren Buffet – the female version. Or the next Elon Musk. Or the next Bill Gates.
All the famous females are people like Oprah, Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Kardashian, known for their looks, their entertainment and their popularity. What if we had women famous for being hard-working millionaires, for being intelligent, educated and driven? Role models are what encourage younger women to dream big, to try harder, to do better.
Never be afraid to be ambitious, to want to achieve higher. Ignore the ‘how about modelling?’ or ‘oh maybe you’re not just pretty face’ or ‘why not do something more in your range of abilities?’. Do what you want to do and what you want to achieve. Dream big, and don’t let people take those ambitions away.
True, you don’t need a finance degree to dream big. But finance is a good way to take the first step into the business world. No matter what you do in life it will involve money (especially if you’re going big), so understanding it at an early stage will only benefit you.
This article wasn’t easy to write. There are so many issues I want to address about gender equality, and I feel I am very limited by just writing an article on finance. Too many times people take things the wrong way and you get hateful comments, heated debates and nasty experiences – I’ve been through it all. Gender equality is a topic that is very close to heart. Growing up in so many different cultures I’ve seen how women are treated and perceived differently and it’s not always nice to watch, especially when I’ve been on the receiving end.
For this reason, I want International Women’s Day to be a day of celebrating how far we’ve come and putting in plans to achieve more. I’ll be attending Barcelona’s strike tonight and I’m very excited; I swear there is nothing more empowering than women joining forces and striving for equality.
So yeah, for someone who is considering finance, I say: do it. The benefits are great, the skills are for life and you get to show the world that you can dream big and that you are valuable as a woman. So, why not?
Here are some other awesome money bloggers with posts for International Women’s day:
- Mrs Mummy Penny – Inspirational Women
- Much More With Less – Are you ready to invest?
- Earning By The Sea – Is MLM empowering or exploiting women?
- Penny Wise, Life Rich – International Women’s Day 2018
- Mamafurfur – What I would teach my daughter from a Mother raising boys
- Your Money Sorted – Why women need to talk about money
- Mums Savvy Savings – Raising Sporty Girls: What we must do
- The Diary of a Frugal Family – 15 tips to help you to ‘have it all’ as a Working Mum
- Penny Pinchers’ Paradise – How to show your financial worth as a SAHM
- The Female Money Doctor – Great Women Need Great Support
- Thrifty Mumma Thrifty Bubba – Money Mantras: What I’ve learnt about money from the women in my life
- Thrifty Mum – Mind the gender pay gap? Then close it yourself!
- The Money Whsiperer – An Open Letter To My Daughters For International Women’s Day
- The Frugal Cottage – Why Aren’t More Women Investing?
- The Money Principle – 5 lame excuses women don’t invest
- Lady Janey – Customer Service- do women do it better?