Financial Literacy

What Happens When Women+ Take Control: Beyond Money

January 25, 2024
Britt and Laurie-Anne two women laughing and looking at their computers on a couch in a well-styled living room
Britt & Laurie Anne
Two female investors in their 30s with a collective net wealth of over $6 million+
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Women+ are becoming more and more powerful players in the financial space.

Just listen to these statistics from the Washington Post:

  • They start more businesses than their male counterparts
  • They earn as much or more than their husbands in 45% of heterosexual marriages
  • Among solo households, they own more homes
  • By the end of this decade, women+ are poised to control much of the $30 trillion in wealth expected to be possessed by baby boomers (for context, that’s close to the annual U.S. gross domestic product)

Summer 2023 astounded financial outlets as Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour, Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie clearly showed that women+ aren’t “just” consumers and earners – they drive the economy and create industries.

Despite this increase in financial power, women+ continue to face unique challenges when it comes to personal finance.

Who Can I Trust?

Historically, women+ have been shouldered out of money conversations. Women+ in America couldn’t apply for a credit card without approval from a husband or father until 50 years ago!

Because of that, women+ face unique challenges in the financial space, causing them to invest later and less than men+.

Now that women+ have money, many don’t know what to do with it. Worse, they don’t know who to trust.

Financial services are often targeted at men+, and when women+ do seek help, financial experts often make them feel sidelined and patronized.

Because of the way they’re treated and spoken to, women+ feel guilty for how they’ve handled their money or not being more financially literate.

Even among their close friends – the ones who know their most embarrassing secrets – money is typically considered a taboo topic.

Talking about debt is shameful. Talking about salaries is uncomfortable. Talking about investments is difficult.

As women+ step more into their power, it becomes more important for them to have safe spaces where they can gain financial literacy without feeling judged and talk about money without feeling self-conscious.

More Money in the Hands of More Women+

One night in 2018, two dozen friends gathered in Britt Baker’s living room.

Britt had been teaching friends the basics of investing, when she realized that many of the women+ weren’t quite ready to invest; they needed to understand the basics of budgeting.

Thankfully, she knew exactly who to call: her good friend Laurie-Anne King.

For Laurie-Anne, money was a major stressor early in her marriage. Her husband was a third-generation financial planner, whereas she grew up with little financial literacy and didn’t see the big deal in carrying a credit card balance month-to-month.

This led to many tense conversations and arguments, giving Laurie-Anne flashbacks to her own parents fighting about money.

Eventually, she realized that if she didn’t educate herself financially, she was going to destroy her marriage.

After a crash course on personal finance — downloading an app called You Need a Budget, reading a pile of books on money management, sitting down for husband-wife budgeting sessions — she paid off tens of thousands of dollars in credit card and student loan debt.

In the years since, Dow Janes has grown from a small group of friends helping friends into a business that has helped more than 20,000 women+ take control of their finances through programs like the Million Dollar Year.

The ultimate goal: More money in the hands of more women+.

What Happens When Women+ Take Control: Beyond Money

When women take charge of their finances, the impact reaches far beyond their bank accounts.

They have louder voices in the world. They have more options across all facets of their lives, whether that’s ordering an overpriced appetizer, quitting their 9-to-5, or finally booking their dream vacation.

And to King, that’s a pretty big deal.

It is, she said, “the way that I define freedom.”

Parts of this article were taken from "The wealth transfer from baby boomers mostly benefits women" by the Washington Post.

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