This Wednesday is International Women’s Day, and since I’m an International Woman (born in Taiwan, raised in Texas, educated in New York, and currently living in California)...it’s a day to celebrate, not just myself but of course women across the globe.
This year, the theme for the UN International Women's Day is 'DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.' And although I don't know exactly what that means, I am always advocating for equal or even better pay! It's so important to me that women catch up to men, in terms of pay, and at some point, we make up the difference that women are paid 84% of what a man is paid, and this is the number for mostly white women. The pay is even lower for women of color. However, since Equal Pay Day is next week, we'll go into more detail then.
It’s also Women’s History Month, and I want to take some time to write about two things. First, if you haven’t heard my story of why I do what I do, I want to make sure you hear it now.
One of the biggest reasons I’m a financial coach is because I’ve known three women in my life who stayed in abusive relationships because of the lack of money and resources.
They all had young children to take care of, and they didn’t think they could “make it” on their own. So, they stayed. Two of them were in abusive marriages - physically, verbally and emotionally abusive. One of the women’s husbands even threatened her life, at one point, and this was before I got my trauma-informed training, so I called the Domestic Violence Hotline. I said to her that I would buy plane tickets for her and her children to fly out and stay with me anytime she needed to. However, she never took me up on the offer.
She eventually did get divorced, but only after she went back to work and had the money to stand on her own two feet.
The third was a relative, and I actually wrote about her story in this blog post titled, “Money, Love & a Brothel.” It’s a story about parental abuse, and workplace abuses. It’s also a tragic story of just feeling stuck and believing that the only way out is the most tragic one of all. It’s a story set in Taiwan, but it also has Japanese and American ties, so definitely an international woman’s story. (Warning, if you’re triggered by death and stories about abuse, then I don’t recommend you reading the blog post.)
When I think about the Asian women who died in the tragic shooting in Atlanta in March of 2021 (so in this same month two years ago), I thought about my relative. The Asian women who died didn't work at a brothel, but the gunman and the media made them almost seem like they did. Historically, Asian women have been fetishized, sexualized, or silenced. And I know it's time for me and others to speak up and against these demeaning stereotypes.
So, knowing these three women in my life, I am driven by an enormously powerful mission to empower everyone I know to make decisions NOT based on money, which I know is a funny thing for a money coach to say.
Instead of making decisions based on money, I want to support ALL people, but especially women, to be able to make decisions based on their core values and the dreams they have for themselves and for their children.
So, if you’re in support of my mission, please let me know in the comments below. If you or someone you know are in an abusive relationship, please contact the Domestic Violence Hotline. And if you want to empower yourself to make decisions NOT based on money, instead based on your core values and your dreams, then I want to support you. Here’s a LINK for us to talk and see what it may look like to work together towards that dream life.
With Power, Love & Gratitude,
P.S. In this week's newsletter, I share a scenario from a couples' financial coaching session. My answer to her question regarding retirement: You have a choice - you can either change the current allocations and have more of your income going to your retirement and less into household expenses or decide NOW that when you start distributions in retirement, that all of the money from both of your retirement accounts will go into a joint bank account, then you can take from that account, whatever amount you designate. My answer to her question regarding divorce: You can either draw up legal papers now (kind of like a pre-nup, but it's more of a post-nup since you're already married). Or you can decide now that it can be 50/50 of everything since the state of CA where you live is a community property state. You do have choices, and that's the beautiful thing about talking through these things early on. It's sometimes scary because we don't want our partners to get triggered or perhaps feel like we're thinking about divorce. However, these questions are really to get everyone on the same page, so that you don't end up arguing or getting divorced. And this is what gender equality means. It means that each side, whether you're male or female, you get to understand how the money works in your relationship, and you get to ask the questions that makes you feel informed, safe and empowered.
(If you want to get my newsletters where I share different resources and more intimate stories, please subscribe below or get your FREE Couples Guide to Money. I said I was taking it down at the end of February, but since we're talking about a couple and gender equality, I want to extend it for another week. So go grab it! By getting the guide, you'll also get signed up for my weekly newsletters.)