Here’s a Question Every Woman Leader Should Be Asking…

Oct 21, 2019

You might be surprised to know that 73% of working women are engaged in managing their long-term finances, according to research initiated by the American Council of Life Insurers. This is separate from things like budgeting for groceries or registering for kids’ sports teams, turning the outdated stereotype that women focus only on household budgets on its head.

Women are active in making decisions about investments, insurance and other matters. This is great news! Women live longer than men and are likely to need more money in retirement. The more involved women can be in their long-term financial planning, the better.

But at the same time, only 57% of women say they feel confident about their personal finance, savings, and investments.  

And many women reading are nodding their heads. How many times have we been fully engaged in something, making it happen, but still didn’t feel confident that we should be the one at the table? Or taking the job? Or making the pitch?

This week, women leaders in business, government, nonprofits, and education will gather in Washington, D.C. for Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit.

There’s one question I think every leader in that room should be asking: How do we empower all women to be confident in managing their long-term financial security?

Financial literacy is key. Women are a driving force in the American economy. When we feel confident to take control of our financial futures, we empower our country as a whole.

The theme of this year’s Summit is “Better Together.” And so, I challenge all of us to explore how we can use our respective roles to elevate the urgency around financial security.

Whether it’s passing smart public policy, like the bipartisan SECURE Act that would increase access to retirement savings; or developing financial literacy programs that reach the most vulnerable women and girls; or offering paid family medical leave so employees can take time to bond with a child without risking their long term financial viability, we each have a role to play. When we do, we truly are “better together.”

The financial tide can turn for women, and that’s powerful. The clear challenge is to help build financial acumen for all women, no matter where they live or how they work.

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 93 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.