Season 3 premier of our micro podcast The 4 am Report is ready for your listening pleasure. 👍
In this episode we talk to Sarah Zandbergen about the ways (some not so good) financial brands market to women and female owned small businesses.
The consensus? Things need to change and financial brands have to step things up. Hint: your women-focused content doesn’t always need to be pink 🙄
Sarah’s the perfect guest for this discussion as she does marketing for stnce, an organization that inspires women to confidently take ownership of their finances through open and informative conversations. stnce believes everyone benefits when women are self-reliant, self-assured, and well-informed about their financial affairs. We love everything about this. 💜
Keep listening to season 3. Released on social each Thursday at 4am. We’re calling this season “The Dark Webbing of Marketing”. (Thank you to @rohinimukherji for suggesting this season’s title)
Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:
Sarah: So many women that I talked to are expressing their dissatisfaction with the communication that they’re receiving surrounding finances. There’s a lot of platitudes and sometimes when they accompany a male spouse, the advisor’s only addressing the husband. It’s 2019 something’s got to change. There are so many financial literacy programs out there and at stnce we believe we’re not in competition with any of them. In fact, we simply feel like financial confidence is quite often the missing ingredient.
Susan: This is very interesting to me and we’ve been looking at some numbers to try to quantify this and I don’t necessarily have Canadian stats, but here are some US stats, which is kind of representative I guess. Four out of 10 US businesses are female-owned right now, and they generate $3.5 trillion in revenue. But to your point, you still have your husband or your dad who’s talked to in all of the financial communication and all the content that’s coming out of large financial brands and this is sort of … there’s a big afterthought. It smacks of afterthought, doesn’t it? The whole thing with like, here, throw together something that’s trying to flag female by virtue of being pink. It’s condescending. And sometimes if you put it that way and you put a frame that sort of negative on the whole thing, that doesn’t really attract people. But what is the money-making opportunity that this could stand for, I guess is one way to look at it. If you start including, shall we say financial, whether it’s literacy or confidence or whatever material that attracts women, what does that look like?
Susan: That’s a great question. That’s actually a really good point as well. And something that I wanted to touch on is the reason that we called it stnce. And so if you’ll see, I don’t know if there’s going to be a little description down underneath, but stnce is all lower case and it’s S-T-N-C-E. So there’s no A, and the reason for that is we feel like that confidence, that missing ingredient. So what we say is, the A isn’t missing, we’re saving the space for you. And one of the other reasons that we called it stnce and not something like The Red High Heel is because we really wanted it to be something that was neutral and approachable. And yes, we’re really, really marketed towards women at the moment. But going forward, again, it’s 2019 it’s almost 2020 let’s be accessible for all genders.
So back to the archaic attitude. I wanted to say that this attitude is really ingrained in the financial industry, but I believe that there’s change coming down the pipe. And that’s why I’m so proud to work at Equitable Bank. We positioned ourselves as Canada’s challenger bank. And what that means is that we’re challenging the status quo and we’re looking for solutions and things that we can do differently to approach Canadian consumers. I mean, what other bank is really reaching out to consumers about financial confidence in the way that we are? I’m super, super proud of that. And so part of my role at stnce is to help facilitate this change. So I’ve been reaching out to groups of financial professionals and I actually run a session with mortgage brokers and financial advisors centering around how they can better communicate with their female clients.
Sarah: A stat I love, and I actually use this in the presentation, is that it’s estimated that by 2026, women will control close to half of all accumulated financial wealth and that is an estimated $900 billion. You combine that with the amount of women who are unhappy with the industry, again, something’s got to change, right? We’re here to be part of ushering in that change.
Will: Yeah. That is a stat that nobody can ignore. I’m wondering when you’re out talking to women, you have your finger on the policy. You said you’re talking to financial professionals and how they can better communicate to women. What are some of the insights you’re sharing with them? What are you telling them that they need to step up to?
Sarah: That’s a great question and while I’m kind of around the topic, I wanted to say, hey, no shade. If you like glitter, if you like pink, if that’s the way you learn, good for you. No shade to any of those organizations using that. But most of the women that I speak to want more info. They really want the facts and they want it to be easily accessible. That’s something else that we want to achieve with stnce. So if you check out stnce.ca, and that’s S-T-N-C-E.ca, and I hope that those listening do check it out, you’ll see an abundance of educational and inspirational articles about a variety of financial topics. Investing, saving, budgeting, retirement, all sorts of it. It’s all there. We’re busy and there isn’t always time to juggle to go see an advisor if you have a quick question, right?
Sarah: So we’re aiming to have that information at your fingertips, easily accessible, whenever you want. We have an ask the expert section as well. So if you have a specific financial question … really, we find that there’s an embarrassment surrounding asking questions as a woman. And I wish we could change that. We’re on our way to changing it. I mean I have it too, but if you want to stay anonymous and ask a question, you click on ask the expert, ask your question, and we’ll publish the answer for you. And next month to celebrate financial literacy month, we’re going to be releasing our glossary of financial terms on stnce.ca. So easily digestible definitions and examples.
As the Senior Program Specialist for stnce, Sarah is thrilled to participate in and grow a truly grassroots community of like-minded individuals. Her goal through stnce is to inspire Canadian women to confidently take ownership of their finances, through open and informative conversations.
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