Women and EmpowermentNovember 23, 2015 4:57 pm
Last week StrategicPoint hosted an event for our female clients and some of their guests with the theme of empowerment. We defined what empowerment meant to each of us, how we become empowered ourselves and how we help to empower others. Our group represented a diverse group of women at different stages of their careers and lives. While each of us as individuals had our own definition of empowerment, we also recognized some core beliefs among the group.
Knowledge = Empowerment
One fundamental theme was that knowledge fuels empowerment. While this certainly applied to traditional education and the confidence it generates, we also heard stories of empowerment as it pertains to “real-life” knowledge. Mothers spoke of the desire to have their children not only attend college, but to attend schools out of state, in order to ensure that they would develop into self-sustaining adults. This was particularly important as our guests wanted to impress that learning life lessons and independence was key in ensuring that their children were empowered to make their own decisions– and sometimes mistakes!
In discussing the next generation and how we can help encourage our children to feel empowered from a young age, we spoke of ways of inspiring them by simply talking to them and encouraging them to make their own decisions. In doing so, children understand that they always have a choice in life. While there are consequences to these choices, the responsibility is theirs to “own” that choice.
Multiple Voices Promote Empowerment
Our discussion turned to where this source of empowerment comes from. Who helped to make you feel empowered? How did this encouragement help you to provide that to others? While our attendees had varying answers, the one common denominator was that empowerment tends to come from more than one person. Parents were the obvious first choice, but we also heard stories of parents who may not have been supportive in fostering confidence, but a teacher, boss, spouse or spiritual guide may have instilled that feeling of empowerment later on in life. We also mostly agreed that while we ultimately don’t need others to feel empowered, it is rewarding to be validated by a boss, colleague, spouse or loved one.
Financial Independence is Empowering
It didn’t surprise us to learn that many women find that being on the path to or achieving financial independence is empowering. After all, this is why many women work with StrategicPoint. Having money in reserves can provide a level of security not only during life’s challenging times but also in our day-to-day lives. To site a few examples, knowing that you are able to walk away from an unsatisfying job, having the funds to further your education or being able to travel provide a sense of flexibility and choice. Many shared the belief that women need to be discussing topics like salaries and negotiating techniques more openly with each other in order to be compensated fairly. We, at StrategicPoint, learned that continued communication and education about their money empowers our clients to feel that they are, in fact, in control of their financial lives, and that is something we continually strive to accomplish.
The event proved to be an inspiring night of shared ideas and stories about empowerment, confidence and freedom of choice. The support and encouragement that our attendees provided to each other was truly gratifying to witness and experience. We were undoubtedly empowered by all of our guests and their contributions, and we promise to continue to keep this important conversation going.
Chrissy Canapari serves as Financial Advisor and Manager of Client Services at StrategicPoint Investment Advisors in Providence and East Greenwich. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.
Laura Bard serves as Marketing Manager at StrategicPoint Investment Advisors in Providence and East Greenwich. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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