The banking world has opened its doors to women, but it’s done little else to instill belief in them that they’re as valued as men. Sadly, according to an EQ Bank poll, too many of them believe it.
The poll, conducted as a focus group, found that while women demonstrated exceptional financial literacy, few weren’t confident in their responses.
Kim Kukulowicz, Equitable
Bank’s vice president of residential sales and broker relations, founded Stnce, an initiative that seeks to empower women with the self-confidence needed to thrive in the financial services industry. Having noticed that the women in her network weren’t comfortable asserting their knowledge of the financial world, she launched the focus group with the backing of Andrew Moor, Equitable Bank’s CEO.
According to Marie-Andree Maurice, manager of marketing and communications at EQ Bank, Stnce—which symbolically omits the letter A because the women it endeavours to support are missing something in their power stance—launched at the 2017 Canadian Personal Finance Conference and will feature advisors like tech entrepreneur and CBC Dragon Michele Romanow, Kirsten Wood, founder of The Ten Spot, journalist and personal finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haw, and Jessica Moorhouse and Desirae Odkick, two personal finance influencers.
“Kim realized women in her network needed to take more ownership,” said Maurice. “The focus group showed that a lot of the women in financial services are well-versed, but not a single one of the participants from the 20 women in the focus group were able to say they were confident that they had at least five of the questions correct.”
The gap in financial literacy between men and women isn’t large, but it widens between the two genders when they disclose how confident they feel about their knowledge.
“In the survey, there was a request from women to have more engaging content and face-to-face interaction to create a conversation, and establishing a feeling of community was also very important,” said Maurice, adding Stnce will speak to women day in and day out to understand their concerns, as well as to find out what they’d like to delve into.
“We’re crafting exactly what these events will look like and what the content will be. We do have some great ideas and it’s very exciting to be collaborating with these ambassadors.”
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