Women in finance have made great strides in recent years, with more and more women entering the field. This is due to a variety of factors, including increased access to education and resources for women, as well as a greater awareness of the need for diversity in the sector.
However, the finance sector is still largely dominated by men, leaving few visible female role models. This can make it difficult for women to envision themselves succeeding in the field, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Shreya Jaiswal, a finance content creator tells MintGenie in an interview about how in recent times, more women are willing to become financially independent and the increasing financial awareness is leading to a very confident women's community.
From not being a social media person, only focusing on her CA course to today creating finance content for her 1,50,000 audience on Instagram, Shreya is a finance content creator who wants to make finance and taxation easy for everyone, especially women.
Besides being a finance content creator, she also recently Co-founded an agency FinTroop, which aims to empower brands and finance creators with tailored services.
What does money mean to you?
Happiness! They say money doesn’t buy you happiness, true that! But without money, you can’t be happy either. You need it for your survival.
For some reason, finance is still considered a man's industry. Take us through the beginning of your work in the financial industry and the challenges you faced.
I have been considered invisible for a major part of my career. Usually, for every business meeting, the senior partner of the firm and I would go together. While the client would always greet my partner very warmly, I wouldn’t even receive a formal handshake. I would be practically ignored in the room until my partner would mention that I am a Chartered Accountant myself and that I would the primary point of contact.
What’s worse is that few clients would consider me to be his secretary and pass comments on my appearance.
Share with us a piece of advice you always follow when it comes to money.
Never get high on money and never say no to money. The easier it comes, the easier it goes. The least you can do is be humble during both phases and always save for your future before you spend.
How do you think men and women differ from each other when it comes to handling money?
Women are more cautious while handling money whereas men tend to splurge more. Also, men generally have a high risk-taking capacity but are unable to balance themselves when things get rough. Whereas women take very calculated risks and tend to come out even stronger during rough times.
What changes have you seen in the way women approach their finances in the last few years?
I have always believed that women are better than men in managing finances and the Indian culture is living proof of the same. If a housewife can manage her house and children's expenses at a meager income of Rs. 12,000/- a month, I’d say they are efficient financial managers. The only problem is that they are unaware of it.
However in recent times, especially with the onset of globalization and the influence of western culture, I see more women are now willing to become financially independent and the increasing financial awareness is leading to a very confident women's community.
What do men need to learn from women on the money front?
To be mentally strong in days of turmoil. Losing a job and facing losses in business is a common phenomenon. However, because of the financial expectations that society has set out for men, they often tend to fall deeper and find it difficult to bounce back in such cases. A woman on the other hand outperforms men in such cases because she is able to keep her mental and emotional sanity intact.
What money advice would you give to young girls, students, and newly working women?
Be financially independent. Women are equally strong, intelligent, and hard-working as men. In fact, in some cases, the former supersedes the latter. However society still looks down upon us and we often face discrimination and exploitation, and this happens majorly because of our financial dependence on the male community. As proof of this statement, I’d just ask one question to the readers, “how many women do you think would still be married to their husbands if they could take care of their and their children’s expenses?”
How can women be more confident when making financial decisions?
Confidence comes with experience, and experience comes only when you take action. So while taking financial decisions, whether you are relying on a financial expert or not, do your own research, and then just go ahead with it.
What do you think needs to change to improve gender equality in the finance world?
A common behavioral trait I have observed in my career so far is a lack of recognition. If you talk about networking events it is mostly women talking to other women rather than men and women entrepreneurs talking to each other. Talk about meetings, how often does a male speaker maintain eye contact or basically recognize the presence of women in the room?
As a man, even when it comes to asking work queries, the first person to come to your mind is your male colleague. Now I am not saying men have been targeting women intentionally and sidelining them. All I am saying is, that we all have grown up with this behavioral trait of looking up to men when it comes to work, instead of women. So the hesitance in acknowledging female colleagues is “naturally present” that needs to be “consciously broken”.