Monday, May 28, 2018
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My transformation from office wallflower to speaking up like a DIVA!

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Public speaking skills

Hi Genderbuzzers! My name’s Shola Kaye and I run a public speaking company called Speak Up like a Diva’.  I’m also the author of the book How to be a DIVA at public speaking.  However, my professional life was once VERY different and I want to share my story with you of how my first job many years ago sowed the seeds for the woman I am today and what I do now to help others become public speaking pros just like me!

My ‘American Dream’ I was straight out of graduate school with a freshly minted masters degree in Analytical Chemistry when I went off to work for a management consulting company in the USA with absolutely zero corporate experience. Like many new graduates  I was required to ‘blag it’ in my first job, which involved pretending to have the gravitas and experience to advise clients who’d been in their industries for years. I was supposed to do this with no training or help whatsoever and ‘to learn on the job’! Except that I was never really one for faking it (at work, at least!) and found myself in a very uncomfortable situation. I was desperate to add value but as a complete newbie I didn’t want to speak up and put my foot in my mouth in front of knowledgeable clients, potentially embarrassing both myself and my company. I admit – I was struggling. To top it all, I’d been assigned to work with the company’s most prestigious client, a household name global investment bank, so there was even more pressure to put on a good show and do my mid-sized consulting company proud.

My employer eventually saw that I was floundering and yes, they could have done one of the following: 1. Recommended a book for me to read, 2. Given me a mentor, 3. Sent me on a training course. Instead, guess what? – they put me on PROBATION! Stress Central!

Up until this point, I had never encountered any academic or work-related struggles, and I’ll be honest with you, I was worried. It put me under enormous extra pressure because the H1B visa I needed to stay in the USA was tied to my employment. No visa? – No party and I’d be on the next plane back to London. It was such a stressful time for me and the pressure at work mounted by a factor of 10, not to mention that as a conscientious and hardworking young person I felt embarrassed and ashamed about being on probation.

Sisterhood saves the day Fortunately for me, the situation was salvaged when a kindly female colleague swooped in and offered to help me. She took me under her wing and generously agreed, (without the company asking her or paying her extra), to arrive at work a half hour early a couple of days a week to give me extra coaching. With my colleague’s help and guidance I soon managed to turn things around and went on to become a key part of the project team and highly valued by the client. Wuhu!

So what did I learn and where did this experience take me? This whole experience showed me that some people are slower starters than others but of no less value when given the right tools to shine. A bit of friendly support is often all we need. Maybe I was unlucky to be at a firm that didn’t provide any training, or it may be the norm but my heart now goes out to any woman that finds herself in a similar situation. What I REALLY needed at that time was an online coaching course I could access at home but at the time, online courses weren’t readily available. I was already working long hours at the consultancy with the occasional weekend in the office which made it difficult to find time to seek out and attend external courses and training. That’s why, years later, I decided to start my own business designing coaching courses to help people build their communication skills based on my own experiences of not speaking up and Speak up like a Diva’ was born!

Public speaking skills
To improve your public speaking skills, start with my  book

FAST FORWARD TO 2018 and I’m an award-winning speaker and author – yes ME the ex-office Wallflower – and for the past 15 years I have also been performing internationally as a professional singer. My first book. How to be a D.I.V.A. at Public Speaking, provides readers like you with female role-models from the world of entertainment, (sidestepping the usual references to Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln) and my company ‘Speak Up Like A D.I.V.A’ , provides workshops, coaching and training to both individuals and corporates who want to build their own or their staff’s communication skills.

So, what’s in store for you at ‘Speak up like a Divain 2018? In a few months’ time I will be publishing my second book ‘Speak Up On The Spot’ which I have designed to help you speak up persuasively during meetings, to create last-minute presentations and to answer difficult questions at work as smoothly as any politician. I often meet women who express feelings of low confidence when it comes to speaking under pressure and I want this book to address this. ‘Speak up on the Spot’ will include a variety of speaking frameworks as well as expert interviews with barristers, sales trainers, improvisation experts and others who have the edge on thinking and speaking on their feet. There’ll also be advice on mindset and delivery techniques from psychologists and coaches that will help YOU stay cool and look poised! So look out for it!

Public speaking skills‘Speak up on the the Spot’ for corporates 

I have run workshops on this topic and they I have proven very popular. In fact style magazine ‘Harpers Bazaar’ recently picked up the session for their ‘Bazaar at Work series’. As a result I received several enquiries and follow up bookings from a variety of industries ranging from hair and beauty to asset management! Everyone wants to be a decent speaker at work and I can help. There will also be a ‘Speak Up On The Spot’ corporate keynote and online course to support the learning. I know from experience that employees and entrepreneurs alike are hungry for interactive digital training that will help them increase confidence, think on their feet and stay sharp at work. So if you work in the corporate world and need help making impactful presentations let me know and book a half-day or one-day workshop for your company today.

The thing is, I know how much I could have used a similar training all those years ago and my transformation from office wallflower to public speaking pro could have been sooo much easier, that’s why I’m so passionate about my company. Who knows, if I had taken that training, perhaps I’d still be a management consultant today?

I look forward to hearing from you – Shola

Buy my book: How to be a DIVA at public speaking

Book a public speaking course: http://www.sholakaye.com

Are you a Genderbuzz woman?

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Genderbuzz woman
Join other women just like you who are changing how we all do business

Are you a female-led business or a female freelancers? Join our growing business community today by listing your business and find new markets and customers for your product or service.

Hattie Hasan – How I built an army of women plumbers and a successful business

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Women Plumbers
Hattie Hasan on how she built a successful franchise

Hi Genderbuzzers, my name is Hattie Hasan and I am the founder of Stopcocks a company of Women Plumbers and heating Engineers based in the foothills of the Pennines in the U.K and this is my story:

Back in the day ….

In 1990 I decided to reinvent myself from teacher to plumber. I was fed up of the increasing lack of control I had of my work-life as a teacher and I’d always loved problem solving and fixing things, and being a water sign, plumbing was a natural fit for me.

When I first qualified as a plumber, I was living in Leeds and I contacted every plumbing company in the Leeds Yellow Pages asking for a job but I didn’t even get a single interview. Although that was disappointing, being a resourceful kind of woman, I decided to employ myself and started out on my journey as ‘Stopcocks’ and a self-employed Woman Plumber.

In 2006, I attended an Entrepreneur’s event in London, and over lunch we were invited to write a short summary about ourselves and our business. Imagine my surprise when I was asked up on the stage to speak! Everyone was so enthusiastic about what I was saying that there and then I vowed to create ‘An army of women plumbers’ who’d make a difference in the industry and in people’s homes. That’s when I created the idea of Stopcocks Women Plumbers’ – YEP I love the name too ;-). Little did I know what I’d started! Ha!

Providing great customer service is our mission

What drives me is that I know that women are as good as men at plumbing and gas engineering, and I also know that we’re often the answer to householders prayers. At Stopcocks, we pursue excellence and stand out by providing great customer service. Our plumbers are beloved by householders who tell us they’re sick of plumbers who don’t call back, don’t turn up on time, who are patronising, don’t do a good job, take ages to complete jobs – if at all, and don’t clean up their mess.
When they call Stopcocks we are thrilled to help them and for us it’s reputation-building and customer satisfaction at a stroke. WIN-WIN

So what are the barriers to women entering the Plumbing Industry?

The first barrier to a woman becoming a plumber is usually the training system and the perception of the industry as a ‘man’s industry’. Training to become a plumber is usually in a classroom full of teenage boys with careers advisors in schools often telling girls who want to plumb that they’re ‘too good for that”. Too good for what? – having a satisfying career that they’re suited to? We have to end not only this gender stereotyping at school but the fact that in many schools everyone is being channelled towards Uni and desk jobs where they can keep their hands clean. Most people who end up in trades jobs didn’t choose them. And this is what I think is partly responsible for the poor service and poor reputation of these industries.

When I started at college all those years ago, there wasn’t even a ladies loo for students and I had to use the staff toilets! I also had to deal with posters of naked women in the workshop; this was common in those days. I’m pretty thick skinned so I had a quiet chat with the tutor and asked him how he thought I felt with everyone in the workshop knowing that’s what I had under my T shirt! – next day the pin-ups were gone.
The apprenticeship system in the U.K also doesn’t work for adult women. Actually most female trainee plumbers are adults reinventing themselves following unsatisfying careers in other sectors. They have bills to pay and an apprentice’s pay doesn’t allow for that. It’s Stopcock’s aim, through excellence and visibility in the plumbing industry to increase the number of women who want to plumb in every age group.

Our Future is the Stopcocks Franchise!

In March 2017 Stopcocks Women Plumbers launched as a franchise

Since 2006 when I started to make myself visible online to be able to begin to achieve my goal of the army of women plumbers, I’ve been receiving requests for help from women wanting to be plumbers. We wanted to help them all and after many trials and tribulations finally in 2017 we set up the only national franchise of Women Plumbers – anywhere!

When you become a Stopcock franchisee, we provide office and support systems to minimise your admin and paperwork – most people have no idea how much ‘off the job’ work is needed to make and run a successful business We have a great supportive community of plumbers and provide professional technical mentoring, promotion and marketing to get customers flocking in.

Come and meet us at  the annual Women Installers Together conference in July 2018

In September 2017 Stopcocks partnered with pipe and under floor heating manufacturers Polypipe Building Products  and ‘Heating and Plumbing Monthly’ Magazine  to run the world’s first national conference for women plumbers and gas installers. It was so successful it’s going to become a yearly event. The 2018 conference will be on 4th July at The Building Centre, Bloomsbury, London.  I will be speaking again this year, along with Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Hemmings and we will hear stories from other women plumbers about their careers and how it has brought them joy and independence.

So, are you a woman, interested in becoming a plumber?

If you have any questions about becoming a plumber, or you’re interested in joining Stopcocks as a franchisee, hiring a Stopcocks Plumber or even attending the 2018 Women Installers Together Conference, then don’t delay – contact us today. We’re listed right HERE on the Genderbuzz® directory!

Hattie

Women Plumbers

Twitter:  @hattiehasan @stopcocks
Stopcocks Facebook
Website http://stopcocks.uk

From management consultant to exercise club Powerhouse – The BusyLizzy story

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BusyLizzy
Founder of Mother & Toddler Exercise Club Busy Lizzy

My name is Julie Clabby and I’m the owner and franchise director Busylizzy Family Club. I set Busylizzy up in 2011 shortly after having my own children – Lucy and Oliver. I had moved from London to Surrey, given up a career and a great social life and found myself with two children under two years, lonely and living in Surrey.

Before Busylizzy I was a management consultant – specialising in operational management and launch of new leisure facilities. When I had my children, it quickly became apparent that returning to my day job was not going to offer the flexibility I wanted for my family. Leisure is an unsociable industry – my time was required out of hours and at weekends when I wanted to see and enjoy time with my family. I was also aware that with two young children only 13 months apart in age, juggling the soon to be school run was around the corner making working back in London impossible. During this time, I was also miffed with the lack of quality and flexibility in my new ‘mummy world’. I had to leave my two children in a crèche if I wanted to workout at the gym, I had to pay for baby / toddler classes in termly blocks that offered zero flexibility and it wasn’t unusual to attend kids classes in dusty halls. Quite a contrast to the swanky London life I used to lead. It was like stepping back into 1985 armed with a cheque book!

I disrupted the mother and toddler Exercise World!

I decided to do something about the situation and launched BUSYLIZZY FAMILY CLUB  https://busylizzy.co.uk in 2011. The idea is simple, parents pay a monthly membership fee, we load their account with class credits, members download the Busylizzy app (http://busylizzy.co.uk/download-our-app/)and use it to book any combination of classes we run each week. Each clubs runs a packed timetable of postnatal fitness, pregnancy, baby and toddler classes so there’s always lots on for everyone.

Busylizzy has gone on to completely transform the way parents attend classes with their children. Our members pick and choose their sessions each week, cancel/ reschedule classes at the tap of a button (because life with a baby is unpredictable, right?!) and meet a whole community of new local friends.

I was terrified when I first set up the business. I resigned from my job, spent 3 months sourcing venues, meeting instructors and building a website and CRM system. I wasn’t sure if parents wanted the service or even shared my vision so it was a great relief when we started to see lots of members joining and reading the lovely reviews.

Franchising BusyLizzy

3 years after launching the first club in Guildford Surrey, I decided the time was right to franchise the business. We were getting interest in neighbouring towns and had even picked up a few local and national awards.  Setting up the franchise was like setting up another new business all over again! From operating systems, legal agreements, launching a new app and website to a very expensive photo shoot and trademarking  – everything was covered. Exciting times but another scary experience! I was now working two jobs – running my Busylizzy club in Guildford and setting up systems to launch others.

Thankfully, others shared my vision and passion for Busylizzy and 3 Years on we have 15 Busylizzy branches in the U.K. – and lots more territories available. A particular highlight was winning the British Franchise Association best emerging franchise award in 2016

https://www.thebfa.org/news/industry-news/a-year-of-success-and-growth-for-busylizzy

Life today is busy but I love it. No two days are the same. My time is spent supporting our franchisees and helping them run their business, liaising with  my head office team (there are 8 of us – all parents with little ones behind the scenes) , speaking to other mummies embarking on their maternity leave and career changing journey and further developing the Busylizzy brand.

My children are now 9 and 10 years old and we have moved from Guildford to the South Downs where we can enjoy county life, bike rides and walk to school. The business is structured so I finish at 2.30pm every day (as all our franchise owners are also encouraged to do) so I can pick up my children from school and take on the role of mummy/taxi – Cubs, Brownies, swim lessons, golf, gymnastics and trampolining all feature on their schedules…Phew!

What advice would I offer you if you’re dreaming of starting a business?

Well, if you have the opportunity to do something different and for yourself, I say – do it! I speak to hundreds of woman every month who have enjoyed their career but find themselves at a natural turning point whilst on maternity leave. Use this opportunity to do something new and release your dream. Buying a franchise is a great opportunity to step into self employment but with the full support of your franchisor. I’d recommend the British Franchise Association website for a list of good franchise businesses. There are lots of fabulous businesses to choose from!

Secondly, make sure you do a business plan. It sounds boring but I made so many expensive mistakes when I first launched my business. Now, I don’t have a day go by without a spreadsheet entry. A business plan is your road map to success. Write it and then use it to track your results against your predictions. Without it, you cannot measure performance or success.

For more information on our exercise classes hop over to BusyLizzy

Julie

 

Busylizzy

Hoydens. Tough Trousers for tough women.

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Womens Workwear
Annie Bowman, Founder of Hoydens work trousers for women

Hi, my name’s Annie Bowman and I am a painter and decorator and founder of workwear brand Hoydens As a woman in a physical job, I became so fed up with feeling uncomfortable and looking like a sack of potatoes at work, that I decided to try my hand at designing something comfortable, stylish AND practical for women in jobs like mine. Here’s the story of me and my brand….. Annie. 

Why I became a painter and decorator

I had many different jobs before becoming a painter and decorator, but it was this job that helped give me self-confidence, choice and ultimately freedom. I had tried to be a primary school teacher, a utility advisor and a buyer. I have also been a Girl Guide leader and a befriender and done some peace work. But, being a self-employed decorator helped me manage my own time , juggle my kids, my voluntary work and my husband’s long hours. Working just one job at a time, and choosing my customers carefully meant that I could offer a quick and efficient service, but more importantly my customers liked the fact that I understood about having respect for their home and was safe around children and old people. Seeing the smile on someone’s face when you have given a room a new lease of life and left it clean and tidy was and still is really gratifying and confidence boosting to me.

I have recently moved from Frankfurt to Sheffield to be nearer my mum, my nearly grown up kids and for my husband to find work and apart from living in a house that needs lots of TLC and a move away from the 80s wallpaper and carpets, I have had a really interesting year trying to figure out the world of workwear for women. it is shocking to me that we have had women working in traditionally men’s jobs since the war, yet, we still have very little choice of work wear from the main suppliers. During the war, Sheffield had the Women of Steel, Land Girls worked in the countryside and we even had Lumber Jills working in the forests but making properly fitting clothing, especially PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) seems to have been forgotten about. So, I decided to change that – as you do :-).

Why the name ‘Hoydens’?

‘Hoyden’ is an old word for a high-spirited woman and it seemed to portray all the women I have thought of, from the Buffer Girls of Sheffield, to the women working in construction, factories and any physically active job. I also chose the name as it embraces the kind of woman I have been; a bit of a tomboy, and the kind of women who are brave enough to try something in a traditionally man’s world.

Our first product is a pair of trousers that I think will fit more women when held up to the  competition. Hoyden’s USP is COMFORT and we use a stretch fabric and a waistband which stops the undignified ‘builder’s bum’ issue which men have been dogged with for years on building sites. Most of us just need a bit more space around the bum and thighs and maybe a tampon pocket!

The trousers are made in a tough fabric that won’t shrink in the wash and that has stretch for easy movement. The pockets are generous even on the smaller sizes and there are extra pockets, or Hoysters, that clip onto the belt loops for carrying the tools of your trade. The trousers come in sizes 8-18 and 3 leg lengths.

The future for Hoydens

Future ideas for development will be trousers with knee pad pockets, shorts, tops and jackets in different bust sizes and lengths and safety footwear and a wider selection of sizes. I have just successfully finished a crowdfunding campaign that will help pay for the first production run. The backers from the Kickstarter will have the chance to give me feedback which I can act upon for future designs. I am aiming to have stock in February and will be selling uniquely on www.hoydens.co.uk

Hoydens are tough trousers for tough women. Although they won’t solve all of women’s problems in the workplace, I do hope to increase recognition for women working in physical environments, to make sure they feel proud, confident and professional in their trousers. The website will help raise awareness of women doing physically active jobs, in order to encourage school leavers and career changers to think outside the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a female activist with a story to tell and a problem to solve?

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Everydayactivism

Tell us about the issue you’re passionate about and we’ll share it with the world. Let’s put women front and centre of doing good in the world.

Email us today at: hello@genderbuzz.com
 

 

9 Simple Money Habits That Can Help Women Build Wealth

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Women need to take control
Esther Mukoro is the Founder of Money Nuggets helping women gain economic empowerment by taking control of their finances
Welcome to the 2nd of a four part series on “Women – Money and Investing” by our guest expert and #connecttoher member Esther Mukoro, Founder of Money Nuggets. Genderbuzz is partnering with leaders in this field to bring essential knowledge to our audience. We have joined with Esther to empower women through financial education.

9 Simple Money Habits That Can Help Women Build Wealth

We know that to live a healthy life we need to be eating our five a day, drinking lots of water, exercising and getting enough sleep. And we also know that to live a wealthy life, we need to live within our means, work hard, make our money work hard for us and take it easy on the credit cards. These rules apply whether we’re entrepreneurial, business owning millionaires, managing the family budget, just starting out fresh from university or managing all three.

But there are other, simple things we can do; good habits that we might overlook, that can help us build wealth and take control of our financial destiny:

  1. Become a Spreadsheet Addict

Keeping control of your spending is hard if you’re not recording it. It might seem like a hassle, but honestly, nothing will highlight frivolous spending more than having it all in black and white. It’s a bit like keeping a food diary; annoying, but facing the truth about how many treats you’re having is a sure-fire way of cutting down.

Same with spending, recording what comes in and what goes out will highlight areas that you can make savings in. And actually, I joke about spreadsheets, they’re a bit last decade, and more than a bit clunky, especially on mobiles. Use a money tracking app such as Cleo, and it’ll change the way you manage your budget forever.

  1. Live Below Your Means

Seeing where your money might be trickling away really does make a difference, and can jolt you into taking stock and making cutbacks on things you regularly buy but don’t need (see point 3). Use a budgeting app to set a monthly budget that’s below what you can afford and forget about the rest. Out of sight, out of mind.

Set up a monthly standing order to transfer money saved into a higher interest savings or investment account. In an interview with CNBC, certified financial planner Carolyn McClanahan said, “Once you create the habit of saving, it stays with you for your entire life”. Sound advice.

  1. Save Before You Spend

Get paid, pay the bills, spend, then save what’s left. Sound familiar? How about this. Get paid, save, pay the bills, spend what’s left. One of the greatest secret to building wealth is paying yourself first.

Putting money aside for your goal, be that a pension pot, new house, growing your wealth, setting up or expanding your business, before you spend, turns the way many of us manage our money on its head.

But it makes sense, you must save before paying for expenses; otherwise, there will never be any or enough left to save.  An effortless way to pay yourself first is to automate your savings. Think of it as your first bill of the month, an investment in your future that has to be made.

This is the one piece of money advice you should never forget. Many of us live below our means but never think to pay ourselves first, so we continue to live from pay-check to pay-check.

As the saying goes, “Save a little bit of money each month, and at the end of the year you’ll be surprised at how little you still have.”

  1. Ditch the Daily Flat White

Spending a few pounds on your morning coffee fix each day might not seem much, but deep down you know that if you added it up over a week, month or year, then you’d probably be appalled. And besides, all those non-recyclable disposable coffee cups? Not eco.

Your money is well-earned, you deserve treats, so try to see daily take away coffees (and all those tempting goodies at the till that cry out for you to buy them too) as a once or twice a week, you’ve-reached-Friday treat.

Same for shop bought lunches. According to a study by the Telegraph newspaper, on average we spend more than £10 a day on shop bought lunches, coffees and snacks. That’s over £2,500 a year. Batch cooking lunches once a week and bringing them to the office will save you at least three quarters of this so you can find that spare cash to invest.

  1. Look After the Pennies…

… and the pounds will look after themselves, so they say. And micro investing is the latest way to do that. Apps such as Moneybox will round up your small spends to the nearest pound, and invest the rest without thinking about it.

For example, if you buy a coffee, say for £2.40, Moneybox will invest 60p of your money for you in one of over 6,000 global companies within a stocks and shares ISA. This is investing that you don’t even need to think about, done by experts, and will build up over time.

  1. Be Financially Savvy

The successful woman is she who is savvy about money. It doesn’t take a lot of time to be money savvy, financial success is the sum of small efforts.

Read something about money daily, even for just 2 -5 minutes; books, newspapers, blogs, and educate yourself on the ways of the money worlds.  Aim for one personal finance book each month or quarter. If you really don’t like reading or don’t have the time, try audible books so you can listen on the go.

Understanding how money, savings and investments work will mean better self-financial management (and fewer financial adviser fees). Making your money work for you, in the right account, is well within your grasp.

  1. Believe in Yourself

Remember that girl who didn’t care what was expected of her? The girl who did what she wanted and went out and got what she wanted? Even though it might have been the latest ‘in’ thing, she still believed in herself enough to get it.

She’s still in there and she can still dream big. Tell yourself that you deserve to be financially solvent and set yourself inspiring goals to aim for.

Remember, a positive mental attitude is more than just a slogan for Persil washing powder.

  1. Spend Mindfully

Absentmindedly drifting around a supermarket filling your basket, browsing online shops late at night, shopping after lunchtime wine, buying the kids too many toys. All easy to do, right? But all things that will make us spend unnecessarily.

And this includes managing all those no longer needed insurance policies, subscriptions for magazines that end up straight in the recycling and long-forgotten charity donations that come out in seemingly insignificant amounts each month.

The tried and tested rule to building wealth is to spend less than we earn. Unmindful spending eats into our budget, make sticking to our budget a challenge and can be the things that stop us from achieving our goals and dreams.

  1. Don’t Deny Yourself the Treats

When all is said and done, a life without some kind of treat can be a bit uninspired. Developing good money habits doesn’t mean that you have to give up every little luxury and spontaneous treat, just that you have to always protect the money you want to save first so you can build wealth.

Always make sure there’s enough for that Friday coffee, dinner with friends or train ticket to the beach. Or really, whatever you fancy, as long as it’s within/below your means, because, rather like our diet again, too much strictness can quickly mean a blowout.

Don’t Wait, Start Today

Although these habits are relatively simple they are just as difficult to implement. Try working on one habit at a time because nothing feels better than a celebratory treat at the end of each month firmly in the black as well as growing your wealth.

 

3 Reasons Women Need to Take Control of Their Financial Destiny

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Women need to take control
Esther Mukoro is the Founder of Money Nuggets helping women gain economic empowerment by taking control of their finances
Welcome to the 1st of a four part series on “Women – Money and Investing” by our guest expert and #connecttoher member Esther Mukoro, Founder of Money Nuggets. Genderbuzz is partnering with leaders in this field to bring essential knowledge to our audience. We have joined with Esther to empower women through financial education.

3 Reasons Women Need to Take Control of Their Financial Destiny

In today’s world, women are more financially independent than ever before. The opportunities for career growth and self-starters are booming and women are flourishing. In fact, the amount of women running their own businesses in the UK is increasing, and is expected to continue to rise.

While it’s no secret that the pay gap is still all too prevalent in many careers, the fact is that women are earning more now than ever before.

It stands to reason then that women are taking control of their financial destinies right? Wrong.

Recent surveys show that around 17% of men have a stocks and shares ISA, while only 10% of women have them and only 20% of women have an investment portfolio, compared to 34% of men. This means that there are still a lot of women out there who are failing to invest their money.

Why Don’t Women Invest?

Recent surveys show that the main reasons women don’t invest money is because either they don’t understand how to, or worryingly, because they rely on their husband’s pensions for their income after retirement.

In today’s society, there is nothing at all to stop a woman from learning how to invest her own money and gain financial independence. Women have got to take the next step and stop depending on their husbands, partners, or the government to take care of them after they retire.

Why Do Women Need to Take Control of Their Financial Destiny?

Women are hard-working and ambitious. We thrive in often male dominated environments and we can hold our own in any business scenario. We don’t allow men to dictate our actions to us nor hold us back. We step up and take control. And it is time that more women did so with their personal finances.

Here is why:

Divorce/Never Marrying

With around 33% of marriages ending in divorce, relying on your husband to control your finances is a good way to end up working long past the time you planned to retire just to make ends meet.

Of course no one wants to believe that their marriage will end up as another divorce statistic, but realistically, you have to separate your heart from your head.

Planning your financial security isn’t an indication of you believing your marriage is destined to fail. It isn’t even a safety net as such. It’s just good sense.

And if your marriage is one of the 67% that doesn’t end in divorce, then look at it as double the money, double the fun when you hit retirement age!

Some women don’t want the traditional marital set-up. They may choose to cohabitate or remain single. Not every woman wants the hearts and flowers romance thing.

For whatever reason, one in five women will not marry. Added to the divorced women, that means around 45% of women will need to be financially independent.

Women Outliving Their Husbands

Imagine this scenario. You are one of the people who have a loving, long lasting marriage. Your husband has successfully invested in a good pension and you are both comfortable and enjoying your retirement. Congratulations.

Now bear in mind that statistically, women live on average, five years longer than men. A woman may now find herself in a situation where she has no financial resources of her own to fall back on.

And with the state pension a pitiful £159.55 per week, for most people, living on that alone is not an option.

For Independence and Building Wealth

Women who have careers of their own have financial independence throughout their whole working lives.

Why would you want that to stop once you retire? Why, after spending so many years earning your own money, would you want to resort to having to rely on someone else to finance you?

Taking control of your own finances means you will never find yourself in a situation where you are reliant on someone else to finance you. And that alone is a good enough reason to take control of your finances now.

As we mentioned above, the gender pay gap is a very real issue for many women in the workplace, not least the BBC. For this reason alone, women often earn less than men, therefore, careful planning is required to build your wealth and ensure you have a comfortable retirement.

How Can Women Take Control of Their Own Financial Destiny?

At the very least, women with good salaries should be looking at investing 10% of this money into a pension fund or stocks and shares.

In general, women are less willing to take risks with investments. That means that their money isn’t working as hard for them as the equivalent amount a man invests, but it also means that they aren’t paying so much in fees when jumping from investment to investment, and as a long-term strategy, this can work in women’s favour.

Many banks and financial institutes are trying to attract more women into investing because women actually make better investors.

For the modern women, financial independence is already a high priority, and so should wealth building. Now it’s time to start investing yourself and your capital to ensure that this state of independence remains once you leave the workplace.

About

Esther Mukoro is the founder of MoneyNuggets. Money Nuggets is a Personal finance blog for women who want to take charge of your finances and secure their financial future. She is passionate about empowering women through financial literacy by providing them with smart money tips that are practical, actionable and simple to implement.

Money Nuggets is also a member of #connecttoher – check them out here.

How to Deal With Overwhelm From Life Coach Joanne Eve

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed?

In this video, our resident Life Coach Joanne Eve covers tips on how to deal with overwhelm -those times in our lives where we have lots of responsibilities and pressures and we can’t see the wood through the trees.

Realising that you don’t have to cope on your own is the first step.

Jo explains a visual exercise which can help you to see where you are out of balance and therefore get back on track and recommends meditation to help alleviate the thoughts which are often contributing to stress and overwhelm.