Golden Girl Finance
While the financial crisis was rocking employment rates around the world and forcing small and large companies to close their doors, two women were opening a window for equal opportunity. Investment veteran Susan Misner and entrepreneur Laura McDonald recently launched a revolutionary online community to inspire and encourage women of all demographics to build and discuss wealth.
“Looking at my daughters, I thought, ‘what’s out there for my girls to learn about money? What’s out there to encourage them to create wealth in their lives?’ And there was really nothing to address that issue for them,” says Misner, who hopes their website, Golden Girl Finance, will provide present and future female generations with the tools to secure financial independence.
As an educated professional who often left the financial planning in the hands of her husband, McDonald wanted to create a compelling and interesting forum that would encourage women to take the reins and enhance their financial literacy. “We think it’s time for this,” she says of the novel social finance network. The all-ages website aims to present topics such as the stock market, salary expectations and occupational goals, in a fun, exciting, relatable and convenient format. By creating profiles and fuelling discussions, women can develop economically advantageous relationships. “We have to build that professional network, because that’s where men have the advantage, and while this isn’t men versus women, we’re focusing on women arming themselves for the future,” McDonald adds.
As the recessional dust settles, research is showing a significant rise in female labour force presence, but high divorce rates, aging parents and motherhood are still holding women back. In fact, the “motherhood gap” was found to be a major cause of gender wage disparity in a recently released TD Economics report. Earning penalties upon work return and increased home responsibilities are some contributing factors that were highlighted. “We wanted to create a space where women can congregate, and talk and become a community that has the ability to create massive amounts of wealth,” says Misner, who has almost two decades of wealth management experience.
According to the World Economic Forum’s annual report, Canada’s gender gap is shrinking in fundamental areas such as economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment – ranking 20th on a global scale. “We’re making more money, we’re inheriting more money, so we need to make sure we’re investing that money properly and that we know what to do with it,” says McDonald.
In a world of glass ceiling smashers, Misner and McDonald are two blondes investing in total architectural overhaul.