4 Challenges Women Face in Business Today

Although governments, companies and industries have dedicated significant resources toward attracting and developing more women into their rank, the following four gender-related factors still impact the success of women in business today.

Challenges Women Face in Business Today

  1. Breaking into the C-Suite

While in some industries it’s not uncommon to find a workforce with equal or even higher numbers of women than men overall, it rarely extends into the C-suite. Despite a mounting collection of business and academic reports pointing to the advantages enjoyed by businesses where women make up half (or more) of corporate leadership, as of International Women’s Day 2016, women held fewer than 25 percent of senior business roles worldwide and one in three companies worldwide have no women at all in senior management roles.

  1. The Gender Pay Gap and Access to Capital

Even when women feel they are fairly – or even generously – compensated for their work, continued scrutiny of the issue of the gender pay gap begs the question of whether women professionals are being paid as much as male counterparts.

For women entrepreneurs, the challenge of obtaining working capital to launch or grow their business can be a serious one. In the U.S., a group of female tech entrepreneurs recently started a new project called “Project Include” to increase their presence in the industry in order to address an 89 to 11 percent imbalance, where nine out of 10 tech investors are male. Even outside of the male-dominated tech industry, access to capital is a problem for women entrepreneurs. A Pepperdine University study confirmed that women in business receive far less access to capital for venture startup and financing.

  1. Career-Family Balance

The struggle for a good work-life balance, especially in households with children, often falls more heavily on women than men. For instance, while there has been an increase in the number of households making the choice that a man will stay home to care for young children and manage domestic duties, especially in cases where the female partner in the relationship earns more than her male counterpart, this is not always the case.

In fact, despite the fact that the number of stay-at-home dads has doubled over the past two decades, they still only make up about 10 percent compared to the number of households overall where one parent stays home while the other goes out to work. Even in homes where a woman will be the primary breadwinner working outside of the home, the impact of pregnancy and childbirth still presents some degree of career interruption.

  1. Overcoming Stereotypes

While women have made inroads in nearly every industry, in some industries women are still only sparsely represented. In fact, the list of top female occupations is dominated by clerical and caretaking roles. Some experts recommend that women who want to land a job in a male-dominated field “play up their masculine skills” in order to succeed. However, other experts warn that women who do so face potential backlash. A 2011 study in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology suggests that it’s important for women to know when to (and when not to) display more aggressive mannerisms often associated with men in order to avoid negative reactions.

Women in business can even play a role in understanding the tendency to shortchange themselves or their organizations and work to affect change that benefits their organizations and other female entrepreneurs. If the bad news is that there are still distinct challenges for female entrepreneurs and professionals to overcome, the good news is that progress is being made. Kabbage is dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs succeed through online small business funding as well as expert advice through our resource center. A good many of our articles are written around women in business.

6 Money Investment Tips You Should Teach Your Child

When it comes to investment lessons, it’s never too early to start. You might have realized it yourself as you grow older that saving for your retirement is not as easy as you’d expected. If you already have kids, it’s time you start teaching them about investing in the real world but in methods they will understand. This will empower them with practical knowledge about saving, ensuring that they don’t struggle as much as many adults do today in investing for a comfortable retirement. Here are some useful money investment tips you can start teaching your kids:

Money Investment Tips

#1. Starting off early

By teaching your kids about investment at an early stage, you’re already teaching them a crucial investment lesson. In fact, it could be considered as the most important investment tip you could provide them. There will be a huge difference in results for two people who start investing at age 20 and age 30 respectively. That is even if they each save the same amount every month until they turn 60 and they get the same return on investment.

#2. Teach them about priorities

Children should learn early on that they can’t have everything they want. You will need to teach them about making priorities and weighing their decisions based on how each decision would affect them in the long run. Have them write down a list of the things they wish to spend their money on and then help them consider each item on the wish list.

When you examine the items on their wish list, try to point out the benefits of each item so they can easily weigh their decisions. Maybe instead of saving for a video game, a laptop would serve them better in the long run even when they get to high school or college. Help them understand how each decision could have an impact over the years.

#3. Teach them about consequences

While you educate your child about different decisions and their consequences, make sure you don’t force them to take a certain decision. They have to make the decision on their own so that they can learn to face the consequences each decision can have. They will gain a practical experience on why they need to spend and save wisely.

Maybe your son decided to go on a spending spree with his Christmas money, but he end up being unable to afford the video game that he really wanted. This would teach him about the consequences of making rash financial decisions, helping him save up for things that he really wants before spending the money.

#4. Teach them about back-up plans

Another important investment lesson you should teach your child is not to put all their eggs in one basket. Explain to them about the risks involved in focusing their investment in one place. Let them know about the possibilities of failure and how having a back-up plan can cushion their fall.

You need to teach your child to diversify their investment plan. Make it clear that diversification won’t necessarily give them higher returns but will reduce their risk. You can use an example of having one piggy bank in which they save all their money. Tell them that the single piggy bank could end up getting lost or stolen, meaning they’ll end up losing all the money they’ve saved. But if they have about 2-3 piggy banks in which they divide their savings, they will still have some money left even if they lose one piggy bank.

#5. Teach them the concept of ROIs

Your kid should realize that there are plenty of benefits to saving money. While the fact that they’re able to save enough to buy what they want can be rewarding enough, teach them that there’s more to this. You can give them rewards for saving money.

The reward could be in the form of a percentage increase in their saving, which will be most practical for them in the real world. For instance, if they save up $20 every month for three months without spending any of it, you could reward them with another $20. This won’t just motivate them to practice making investments but also teach them that saving money has multiple rewards on its own.

#6. Teach them about the consequences of credit cards

Every wise investor knows that credit cards can be dangerous. Once your kid turns 18, it’s likely they’ll get hounded by salesmen offering credit cards. If you don’t teach them early on about the consequences of debt, they could end up being another victim. Teach them why spending money you don’t have is a bad idea.

Good parenting is about prepping your kids for the real world. When you give them the responsibility of managing money at an early stage, there’s a better chance of them spending their money wisely as adults. By teaching them the wise investment and budgeting lessons, you’ll be providing them with valuable and practical ideas that will guide their investment decisions in the long run.

3 Universal Lessons for Financial Success

Household financial responsibilities are widespread, creating challenges for those striving to stay atop their finances. Unfortunately, however, personal finance is not offered as part of a young person’s educational curriculum – unless it is specifically sought-out. As a result, money management is a learn-as-you-go prospect for most personal financiers, who gain savvy with each financial interaction.

Monetary matters are different for each person, reflecting a range of affluence and earning power. But despite the particulars distinguishing each person’s financial landscape; universal lessons do apply – giving even the most inexperienced money managers a leg-up on their personal financial responsibilities.

Financial success relies on many different strategies, covering everything from frugal grocery shopping to cost-efficient energy use – each contributing to prosperity and financial security. In addition to using specific, focused efforts to reduce costs, adopting universal moneywise principals also leads to positive financial outcomes at home.

how to get your finances in order

Use these three important lessons to guide spending decisions and protect your financial health.

Distinguish Needs from Wants

Spending opportunities arise daily, so discretion has a significant impact on your financial fortunes. In order to avoid unnecessary spending, each purchase should be evaluated, before committing. Instituting a self-enforced waiting period ensures purchases are not made without reflection. By assessing each potential buy you’ll define the line between wants and needs, protecting you from ill-advised purchases.

Semantics makes it hard to be absolute about wants and needs. After all, designer clothing meets a need, despite its extravagant cost. To effectively apply the principle you must build-in a measure of common sense. The objective is sidestepping unnecessary spending – or at least living within your means. Spending money on needs like food, shelter, and clothing is easily justified, because you cannot go without these items. Depending upon where you live, a car might be considered a need, but at the same time; many people live without personal transportation. If you find yourself justifying too many needs, it may be easier to control spending by focusing on money devoted to wants.

Wants result in discretionary purchases, which are among the easiest to reduce. Entertainment spending, for example, can be controlled with budget discipline, while expenses like housing are typically somewhat fixed. When in doubt, put all your discretionary spending categories under review, making adjustments to rein-in spending.

Make Responsible Credit Decisions

Debt weighs heavily upon individual finances, so controlling borrowing and credit use are essential to financial stability. For starters, you should only ever borrow the amount you need, limiting your use of credit to essential circumstances. Second, your credit options should be evaluated thoroughly to avoid overpaying or using the wrong type of financing. With resources available online, comparing everything from loan alternatives to mortgage products, it is easier than ever to make side-by-side evaluations – without obligation or pressure from lenders.
Once you have a stake in the credit market, whether through student loans, credit card balances, mortgages or other obligations, it is important to manage your responsibilities, without fail. Your credit rating follows you through life, so establishing a sturdy history of successful interactions and protecting your credit score are essential pursuits.

Follow Your Money

Unless you take proactive steps to account for your money, it can be difficult to protect your personal financial health. For the best results, start with a realistic budget, designating categories you can easily track, to see firsthand where your money goes. With a handle on daily, weekly and monthly cash flow patterns, it is easier to plan ahead, helping you make strides toward your long-term financial goals.

In addition to the portion of your take-home pay at your disposal, it is important to maintain thorough understanding about taxes. Although some tax matters are out of your hands, making prudent moves can result in lower taxes. Recognizing these savings opportunities is like putting money in the bank, so keeping a close eye on your money naturally fosters positive financial outcomes.

Universal financial lessons serve as a foundation, from which individuals customize their personal money management strategies. Making wise credit choices, tracking your cash flow, and devoting resources to the things you can’t do without are three essential tenets of a viable long-term approach – use them to reinforce your financial security.