“Help me, I’m poor”
Let's talk about money.
Did you know that 100% of Google searches that are gender-tagged are “for women”? This means that when people look up a question related to finance, there are zero searches with the words “for men” in the search query. This is crazy! And I think about it a lot.
I started thinking more about how the general topic of money is gendered when financial educator Ellie Austin-Williams came into Diem last week and dropped some pretty staggering statistics from a study by Starling Bank. A sampling:
90% of financial literature that targets women is centered on “saving” and 65% of that same literature defines women as “excessive spenders.”
In contrast, 73% of financial literature geared towards men highlights the importance of making big investments and “putting money to work.”
If I’m being completely honest, I’m still a little shell-shocked by this data and I want to talk it out. In a recent article for The Power Outlet, writer Njideka Kingsley put everything I’ve been feeling about money lately into succinct words. “The truth is, we can’t afford to not talk about money,” she wrote. “Our unconscious thoughts constantly shape how we view it and use it.”
For example, there’s another study from 2021 that looks into how stock imagery infantilizes women and money. The study found that the majority of stock images portray women as childlike and naive with money. The images regularly show women only handling small amounts of cash, placing coins carefully into a piggy bank, for example. Images like these perpetuate the idea that money is scarce for women, and that women are unsophisticated when it comes to holding financial power.
Stock images of men handling money, in contrast, show men stashing wads of cash into their suit jacket pockets—suggesting a completely different message. All of this is so backward considering women control 85% of all household spending and will control 2/3 of all consumer wealth in the next 10 years.
A final data point I found particularly interesting (especially in the context of building Diem): 92% of imagery that portrays women handling money shows them alone. In contrast, 75% of imagery that portrays men handling money shows them with others. What is this supposed to tell us? The implied message is that women should deal with money privately—it’s still a taboo topic that’s hard to talk about with others. On a personal level, I find myself making huge efforts to combat this and bring conversations about money into my relationships with friends. Let me tell you—it feels good to talk about salaries, bonuses, mortgage rates, and cryptocurrencies. It’s fun and empowering to unlock conversations about financial literacy in the same way we naturally crowdsource every other topic in our lives—from relationships to skincare to books to career advice.
So here’s my challenge to you this week: Talk to one person in your life about money this week. Perhaps even bring it to the community in Diem. It will feel good, you’ll learn something, and we’ll all be more powerful.
What We’re Reading...
🚑 What is ‘medical gaslighting?’ Studies show female patients and people of color are more likely to have their symptoms dismissed by medical providers. How do we move forward from here? (The New York Times)
Who we’re Dieming with…
To “Diem with” someone means to candidly exchange knowledge. Here’s a selection of knowledge going live (in the Diem app) this week.
Web 3.0 – a new type of valaues system with Dayna Trocki DeStefano, now live in Diem, listen here.
Lessons from building an LGBTQ+ Dating App with Robyn Exton founder of HER, going live Wednesday at 10am EST, listen here.
Wallets, Gas Fees… A crypto terminology 101 with Bec Jones founder of Clutch Wallet. Going live Wednesday at 12pm EST, listen here.
How to launch a podcast with Jasmine Garnesworthy (Female Founder World) & Courtney Sprizer (Entreprenistas). Going live Wednesday 12pm EST, listen here.
Let’s talk female sports fans with Ellen Hyslop, founder of The Gist. Going live Wednesday at 1pm EST, listen here.
A Biz Partnerships 101 with Mady Maio (& me!) Going live Wednesday at 5.30pm EST, listen here.
How to create a movement with Girl Up Exec Director, Melissa Kilby. Going live Thursday at 12pm EST, listen here.
Investing in Pleasure with Sabia Wade & Tatiana Fogt. Going live Thursday at 2.30pm EST, listen here.
The Power of Online Presence with Lisette Calveiro. Going live Thursday at 5pm EST, listen here.
See you next time,