Financial Literacy Matters — Professionally and Personally

April is Financial Literacy Month, an opportunity Paradigm for Parity® to highlight the role that financial confidence plays in supporting women’s advancement — both professionally and personally.

All women and men benefit from attaining financial literacy, but the need is greatest for women of color, who statistically are paid less than men and white women on average. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have only heightened the urgent need for short-and-long-term strategies to support the financial resilience and empowerment of multicultural women.

On the individual level, financial literacy includes financial decision-making, investing, saving, and negotiating both benefits and compensation that match your personal skills and competencies. Having experience in navigating financial stressors and making individual financial decisions boosts confidence to create an important base that eventually influences the way someone approaches budgets and money on a professional and company-wide level.

Earlier this year, we launched our pilot Profit and Loss (P&L) Leader Accelerator Program. Having equitable access to P&L training and leadership development is essential to increasing both financial literacy and the number of women in senior positions. Although P&L roles are an integral part of leadership in the C-suite, research from Seramount indicates that only 31 percent of corporate women have P&L experience, compared to 71 percent of men. And of the 31 percent of these women, only 26 percent are women of color, compared to 74 percent of white women.

Our program, currently sponsored by Merck and CVS Health, is one of the first of its kind. It is specifically designed to provide multicultural women increased access to the critical training and sponsorship needed to empower them with the skills and support required to advance to the C-Suite. Based on the success of the pilot, Paradigm for Parity has plans to expand the P&L Accelerator program to make it available to more multicultural women in our member companies.

Financial literacy is an avenue by which we can continue to address both the racial wealth and the gender gap in corporate leadership. With hands-on experience and support from sponsors, women of all races, cultures and backgrounds can feel more confident dealing with finances both in the workplace and in their personal lives.

We encourage you to add your Financial Literacy tips and programs to our social channels and membership portal.

About Paradigm for Parity®
Paradigm for Parity® is a coalition of business leaders dedicated to addressing the corporate leadership gender gap. The coalition is made up of CEOs, senior executives, founders, board members, and business academics who are committed to achieving a new norm in the corporate world: one in which women and men have equal power, status, and opportunity. The ultimate goal is to achieve full gender parity by 2030, with a near-term goal of women holding at least 30% of senior roles.

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Paradigm for Parity

The Paradigm for Parity® movement is a coalition of business leaders dedicated to addressing the leadership gender gap in corporate America.