Understanding the Financial Effects of Gender Discrimination and Cultural Beliefs on Your Female Clients


Understanding the financial effects of gender discrimination and cultural beliefs is vital in helping your female clients achieve financial behavioral change. Because money beliefs – thoughts, feelings and attitudes about money – affect financial success, it is very important that we are able to share with our female clients how gender discrimination and cultural beliefs play a primary role in affecting their money beliefs.

Unfortunately, the financial gender discrimination and underlying cultural beliefs which leads to that discrimination have a profound effect on the financial wellbeing of our female clients. Those effects often show up as learned financial passivity, financial disempowerment and hopelessness.

Femonomics Uncovers Economic Gender Discrimination for Females

You may remember that Financial Social Work evolved from “Femonomics (the Gender of Money).” In 1997, the Femonomics Institute focused on female gender discrimination and educating and empowering females financially by showing them that their perspectives on money and life are influenced by that discrimination.

The following are a few of the ways your female clients experience economic discrimination on a daily basis.

  • Their paychecks.
  • Their Social Security checks.
  • Their cost of haircuts.
  • What they pay for dry cleaning.
  • What they pay for car maintenance.
  • In their inability to do things for and with their children.
  • Etc.

Financial Gender Discrimination Undermines Money Beliefs in Females

More than likely, your clients understand their experiences with financial gender discrimination. They see how it affects their paychecks. They live with paying higher prices than males for the same services. What they most likely do not understand is how this discrimination undermines their money beliefs.

Take a moment to reflect on the underlying cultural beliefs women must overcome when it comes to financial wellbeing. One example is that, at a young age, women are socialized to be dependent on men. This dependency leads to handing off financial responsibility to men.

This financial passivity disempowers women. It leads to negative money beliefs. Beliefs that they are financially inadequate and unable to support themselves of their family. In the end, it leads to feeling of hopelessness.

By helping your female clients see clearly, not only the financial gender discrimination they face, but also how a cultural belief system undermines their money beliefs, you will help them begin to heal their money beliefs. This healing, of course, will empower them to achieve lasting, long-term financial behavioral change.

Written By Reeta Wolfsohn, CMSW

Understanding the Financial Effects of Gender Discrimination and Cultural Beliefs on Your Female Clients was originally published @ Center for Financial Social Work and has been syndicated with permission.

Photo by Tax Credits


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