A couple of weeks ago at JFK, a 13-year-old girl told her parents, beaming with enthusiasm, “I can’t wait until I’m wealthy so that I can fly first class.”
Her mom’s response: “You could just ask for peace, love, and kindness. That would be enough.”
I bit my tongue…
Peace, love, and kindness are great. Poetic even. But they are not enough.
They aren’t tools that possess functions and allow you to invest in food, shelter, utilities, clothes, and businesses. Peace, love, and kindness are behaviours or outcomes of such behaviours.
They are what you focus on, once you have everything else sorted first – including a warm, cosy space to mull over such existentialisms.
The perpetuation of the idea that “everything will fall into place” for women, and that they need not focus on finances and wealth is a contributing factor in the gender pay and investment gap. It engineers a lopsided society where women fall into states of minimising their worth, limiting their capabilities, competence, and confidence.
These reinforced limitations are in direct conflict with those stories of men who are egged on from birth to metamorphose into merciless money-makers.
By all means: peace, love, and kindness come with a hefty price tag. Imagine being a war refugee, not having eaten for days, and facing one more night of sub-zero temperatures. Now try being kind.
Today, many parts of the world live in harmony with one another. Why? We have symbiotic relationships. National economies are hardly closed circuits: we both help each other and rely on each other. Money is the tool that allows us to import and export, and live in a delicate sweet spot, called peace.
It’s not as robust as we think. One second, all is fine and the next: economies tank, currencies implode, and you can imagine… the peace we enjoy now will be a shimmer in the past.
If we deny money the importance and respect it deserves, we are actively pulling the wool over our own eyes. Even the eyes of our children.
Berating girls to focus on love and peace, preserves the idea that financial abundance is morally askew.
When you teach women that peace and wealth are either-or, they learn that you must CHOOSE. A binary is etched into their conscience: should I be a good girl with a lack of mindset or a bad, greedy girl who wants it all?
It can be used for good as well as for bad. Think about how many millions flood into cancer research. The cancer death rate in the UK declined by 31% from 1991 to 2018 – a reduction that translates into 3.1 million lives saved*. Thanks, money.
Wealth is power.
Put it in the wrong hands and it can wreak havoc, but in the right hands (wink, wink, thirteen-year-old girl at JFK), it can make leaps and render the world a far better place.
This fact that women are socially conditioned to be suspicious of wealth and anyone pursuing such a moral faux pas, is one reason gender inequities continue to dominate the financial spheres.
Women, you have a profound influence in ways you may not have considered.
When you understand the self-inflicted handicapping and the generational impact women and men have on women, You may even find yourself sandwiched between what business, society, and familial stories continue to reinforce and the stories you have reinforced in your business, centres of influence, and family.
And you get to choose differently by:
- Break generational cycles and outdated business and societal conventions.
- Emulate new wealth beliefs and actions.
- Leverage your wealth and investments to make the world a tad more decent.
Women and wealth are no more mutually exclusive than wealth and world peace.
For the first time in history, let us make it okay to want it all.
As a collective, we are stronger, smarter, and savvier in business and life. Interested in breaking down the invisible barriers from the top down that simultaneously hinder women and slash the potential of men in business? Email enquiries to email@example.com
References: Siegel, R et al. (2021). Cancer Statistics. 71(1):7-33. doi: 10.3322/caac.21654.