You know the saying, “behind every great man there is a great woman?” Well it’s seriously dated. Women have made huge strides when it comes to equal opportunity, and standing behind a “great man” is not needed. It does seem however, one industry is missing out on this progression; before you write me off as some crazy feminist hear me out.
Every family is different, but in my family mom was in charge of the wallet. I am pretty sure I’ve never even seen my father touch a credit card even though he was bringing home the paycheck.
My mother’s job was housewife—let me tell you, it’s not that easy. Her daily responsibilities included; chef, personal shopper, maid, mediator, and most importantly accountant. According to a recent study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, women control $12 trillion in global spending and 70% of household spending, so it looks like my family isn’t the only one with the matriarch in charge of finances.
One part of the Consumer Sentiment Report that particularly stood out to me said, “Most women who enter the workforce aren’t able to fully offload their family responsibilities, and that has made them increasingly time-pressured multitaskers.”
Which brings me back to my original point, Olga Shifrin could have probably prevented this whole Debt Crisis deal.
A Bloomberg story pointed out that women only account for approximately a tenth of voting power in regards to the world’s interest rates: “Recent turnover at the European Central Bank and Bank of England has left their policies in all-male hands. There also aren’t any women now among the officials who dictate interest rates for Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Mexico and Turkey.”
Historically, it makes sense that there aren’t a lot of women in these positions, but I don’t think history should be to blame. There have been many changes and more to come, it is time that women become more aggressive in the workplace. A recent study found that women’s paychecks lag behind men (up to 17%) because they don’t negotiate their salaries as much. I am sure if you dig way back, evaluate various sociological and psychological theories there will be a very valid explanation as to why women don’t like to negotiate. But, as my father always says, “Everyone has excuses.”
It is time to stop making excuses and start making strides—okay so that sounds like the ending sentence to a rally, but I’m getting worked up over here.
I honestly believe having more female central bankers, can help with present and future budgets. There have been smaller scale surveys proving this belief conducted by institutions such as Charles Schwab and PNC Financial Services group. For example, 49% of women say they are planning financial affairs more carefully after the recession, that is 10% higher than the men surveyed. The study also found that 51% of men did not change their financial habits after the recession, while only 38% of women reported no change. Without getting too far into genetic predisposition and such, women’s tendencies to be more compliant can be a positive trait needed in the central banks.
It makes sense if you compile all the data. Women have a better understanding of the economic health of their country considering 70% of household spending is conducted by women. That is why it is particularly scary that 69% of women are concerned about the economy whereas only 54% of men are — we know what’s up people. I know that putting more women in leadership roles at the central bank is not going to instantly solve the worlds problems, but it will add fresh perspectives and possibly new spending techniques. So, where do we go from here?
Some people are proposing having a female-quota in the Central Banks, like that of Japan and Kenya. Although I think that’s contrived, it may be the move that is necessary to go forward. At the end of the day, something is not right with the way the world interacts with money and a change is needed. Women have demonstrated a great ability to manage finances, and multitask among other things, these abilities may just be what the economy needs.