Teresa Boshart Yoder is an Everence Charitable Services and Church Relations Representative, working to help congregations, organizations and individuals with stewardship education and charitable planning needs. She lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with her husband Lonnie.
The wage gap is real. And it’s a real problem for women.
In 2014, women working full time in the U.S. typically were paid just 79 percent of what men were paid — a gap of 21 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Why is this significant?
Well, there’s the obvious: it’s not just or fair. If a woman is working the same job as a man, with the same level of experience and qualifications, it seems like common sense to provide equal pay.
But when equal pay is not the current reality, this wage gap takes a huge short and long-term toll on a woman’s finances. When women earn less than their male counterparts, they have less income to put toward daily expenses or a future nest egg. When women take career breaks to care for young children and aging parents, they are unable to set aside as much for retirement.
And it’s not just about paycheck disparities. Many women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives. According to the World Health Organization, women in the U.S. live an average of five years longer than men. If a woman experiences a divorce or separation, her household income can decline anywhere between 12 and 47 percent. Our finances — and our financial literacy — are a major part of our short and long-term wellbeing.
Studies have shown that women have a lack of confidence about money, even though we tend to be exceptional savers and investors. That’s why we, as women, need to take the power we have to gain control of our financial planning.
Because of all this, I’m so inspired by the theme for the upcoming Women Doing Theology conference, “I’ve got the power!”
We have the power. We have the power to admit our vulnerabilities when it comes to financial literacy. We have the power to turn those vulnerabilities into strength and stability, for ourselves and for our loved ones. We have the power to take our own steps forward on our financial journeys.
We need to educate ourselves, and learn from trusted financial professionals. Working with an experienced financial advisor can help us name our goals, understand our financial situations, and walk confidently toward our future.
I’ve worked to find a financial advisor who shares my values, has integrity, and whom I trust. I like working with someone who is a good listener and is able to help me translate my personal needs and goals into a strategy that works for me.
In my present role at Everence, I find my energy and power through helping women become more comfortable with discussing finances. I’m fulfilled, watching women gain confidence in understanding what they have, what they can achieve, and how they can achieve it.
We have the power as women to step up and take control of our careers, finances, spiritual lives and other goals. Let’s celebrate and explore this power together.
There’s still time to register for I’ve got the power!