5 ways to take control of your money🎙

It’s hard to be a beginner again – especially when you’re used to being an expert. The good news is that money is much more straightforward than you might think. Like the best games, financial skills are easy to learn and almost impossible to master, and no one (not even world-famous investors) always gets it right. You can comfortably leave your need for perfection at the door. 

Regardless of your starting point, taking *back* control of your money is important – it’s one of the most powerful tools you have to build your life (and your career!) on your terms. This week, we chat about all things finance over on episode 6 of PowrUp, and this is your cheat sheet for putting our words into action: 

Understand your money mindset 

Have you bowed out of money so far? So have many women. Money myths occupy rent-free space in our heads (we’ve covered a few of them here). The first step to taking control is to take note of our internal money dialogues and recognise how they shaped our attitude towards it. 

What’s your first money memory? How did your childhood shape your financial confidence today? Pay attention whenever anything money-related crosses your mind – from simmering stress about upcoming bills or rising interest rates to sticker shock when grocery shopping. We think about money way more than we might expect, and our life experiences can contribute to feeling out of control. Find a trusted friend and share your money narrative. They’ll have their own story – it may be time to co-create a new one. 

Embrace the basics

There is now a world of books, podcasts and courses designed by people like you, for people like you (and many of them have a template letter to ask for a professional development budget). Check out Ellevest’s newsletter, The Curve, Frances Cook, She’s on the Money, Girls that Invest, or Hatch’s free Getting Started Course. You’ll be surprised how quickly you find patterns in the information – just a handful of simple concepts underpin good money habits. 

If your workplace offers EAP from a provider like Clearhead, you might also be entitled to free financial advice. 

Demand your worth

Do you know the market value of your position? There are several ways to search your local job market for your salary benchmark with the likes of Hays (Australia and NZ), Robert Walters (Global) and Glassdoor (Global),

You know the saying, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And women aren’t asking! It’s time to negotiate your salary: head to PowrUp’s ep 1 on salary negotiation. We’ve got you covered. 🤗 

Build financial resilience

Yes, we love to focus on the upside, and we can because we protect the downside. And that means getting a financial safety net in place. Do you have an emergency fund? Setting money aside can make a big difference if things go wrong. Start small and build! Open a savings account and start contributing a fixed amount every payday. As the balance increases, notice your stress levels decrease. 💪

Insurance is probably everyone’s least favourite bill, but it is an important part of your financial safety net. You have people and things that need protection, so protect them! Google ‘do I need insurance’ as a start.

Put your money to work

Is your money working as hard as you are? Thankfully with investing, you can learn by doing. Women have all the right attributes to be great investors. No time for a new hobby? No problem, keep it simple!

Many of us ignore our retirement funds. While that can be a good thing, there are some hygiene factors you really should be across. It’s worth comparing providers, checking your contributions, and ensuring you’re in the right fund. Small actions now can have a massive impact on the amount you have later. A *massive* impact. 

All sorted there? Consider the next step: investing in a few broad-based funds on your local investment platform. You don’t have to be an expert; start small, and you’ll feel fantastic about yourself (and maybe even get addicted?). 

Want more money talk?

On episode 6 of PowrUp, we chat about all things money, finances and taking control. Listen now:

5 simple ways to learn by doing 🎙️

We’re all familiar with the research: as women, we are less likely to put ourselves forward for promotions. We expect to know the whole job before starting (and undersell what we already know!). Our comfort zones are, well, comfy. The unknown? Not so much. 

The power of ‘yes’ 📣

You know the thing you’ve been holding yourself back from? It’s time to say ‘yes’ to it. The latest PowrUp episode challenges you to challenge your fears and GO FOR IT – take the risk opportunity and back yourself.  

It’s like riding a bike 🚴

Remember when you first rode a bike (or learned to swim, climb, and tie your laces…). You probably watched others, got some advice, mastered trial and error – and did all of this as a five-year-old! Yes, you’re already an expert at learning while doing; you already know how to problem-solve your way to success. You’ve mastered the ability to digest information, put it into practice, reflect and analyse, and then give it another go (*rinse and repeat*). 

You’ve heard the term, ‘fake it ’till you make it’? We prefer ‘you got this; it’s ok to learn while doing’. Here are five ways to back yourself to do it:

1. Act with confidence

From superhero poses to documenting your successful track record, there are lots of hacks to boost your confidence. However, researchers have found that the fastest way to build confidence is to make the choice to have it

2. Focus on the fundamentals

You don’t have to get a PhD on every subject, a broad understanding of lots of things is a superpower in itself. When tackling something new, identify the most critical elements of the role/task/skill – and just focus on those. Managing people for the first time? Master the 1:1 meeting before perfecting the art of delegation. 

3. Talk to people who’ve done it

Look through your network (and the networks of your network), and identify a few people that have ‘been there, done that’. You don’t always need to get a formal mentor, sometimes, coffees with a handful of experienced people will give you everything you need to know about how to master the new role/skill/task. 

4. University of Google

Between Medium, Reddit, Linkedin, businesses and experts who openly share their expertise – the internet has you covered. Want to learn how to ‘successfully manage a project’? The 1.3 billion results on Google are there to support your efforts. ‘How to budget and forecast’? 152 million results. You’ll be amazed at how much you can digest in 2-3 hours of focused research. 

5. Hone your observation skills

Be the most curious person in the room. During meetings, focus on who’s leading well and why. While at events, analyse the speakers to understand who is nailing body language and delivery. Witness someone diffuse a challenging situation? Spot a person with effortless networking skills? Observe and apply. Eventually the skills you mimic will become your own.

Take action

You know when you’re faced with an interesting opportunity, you can feel it in your gut. Next time one is presented to you (no matter how small it is), practise taking action. If things work out, you’ve learned you can do more than you thought. If they don’t? You now know you can handle more than you think. 

Want more examples, insights and tips?

On episode 5 of PowrUp, we share our stories of saying yes to the unknown, and how we built self-believe through three simple tools. Listen now

Recession you say? Hello precedented times 🎙️

It’s just around the corner, says every economist (and central bank). Warnings of a recession make weekly headlines, but economies are stubbornly defying orders – for now. 

Simply put, the economy is the relationship between the supply of goods and services, and demand to buy them. When demand outstrips supply, businesses ramp up, and economies tend to grow. When the reverse is true, businesses tend to hunker down and economies shrink. Over the last 100 years, the average length of a growing economy is around 3 years. A shrinking economy, or recession, lasts about 1.5 years. Recessions have been a regular feature in our economic history, and there have been a couple of memory-making ones in our ✨very young✨ lifetimes (hello 2008, 2020 and… when will this one kick in?!?). 

The R word

When we experience two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth (AKA shrinking), we collectively adopt the R label. We tighten our belts, but we do not panic! The economy is like any other long term relationship; there are good and bad seasons. What we do during the bad ones sets us up for the good years just beyond the horizon. 

Worldwide, most economies are slowing down right now. Housing prices have fallen, and we feel the pinch every time we shop or fill the tank. Some of us are starting to cut non-necessities (*cough* Netflix). Our dollars are stretching less than they did this time last year (the very definition of inflation), and interest payments are getting more expensive. 

No two recessions are the same and this one is being triggered by central banks trying to cool everything down. As we face into the inevitable, unemployment is still low, but companies are tightening their belts and layoffs started late last year in the tech sector.

It’s the economy, stupid

As scary as the headlines can be, there’s one thing to (frugally) celebrate; we’re experiencing precedented times for the first time in years. So we take our medicine, but let’s do it together. Join us for this week’s podcast on the economy. We’ll have a bit of an Economics 101 refresher, chat about past and present drama (yes, a bit of Silicon Valley Bank) and offer up some hacks to prepare. 

Welcome to our new podcast: PowrUp 🎙️

The world is better when more women are in positions of power and influence.

As the world emerged from Covid, we left Hatch and were shocked to find that, while we’d been growing our business, every gender equity metric had slid backwards. 🫣 We’re no spring chickens, but we still get ID’d occasionally, making us exceptional. We have high levels of self-confidence but take that claim literally: we are the exception to the norm. In a world where women-founded startups receive under 2% of venture capital, ours was acquired after 5 years. Women comprise a quarter of executive positions, and we’ve both held them.

But we shouldn’t be exceptional. So, we left our cushy corporate roles to open source the leadership playbook and get more women represented in positions of power and influence at every level.

Our newsletter was our first step, and our podcast, PowrUp, is the second. Think of us as your personal cheerleaders, providing the tools to equip yourself with the confidence and skills to shape your career on your terms. Of course, we hope to entertain, enlighten, and inspire you along the way. 🫶

In ep 1, How to negotiate your salary, we challenge you to get what you deserve. Learn the best ways to capture and communicate the value you bring to the table. Prepare for this critical conversation from giving yourself a pep talk to having a plan b.

In ep 2, What is the Metaverse? we demystify today’s digital worlds. This is your jargon-free (and tech-bro-free) guide to the new digital realm. Learn about the women shaping them and why, as women leaders, we must be across developments in virtual reality.

In ep 3, Imposter Syndrome, get unfiltered advice on overcoming the fraud in your feelings. Learn the surprising history and bust the myths behind this global ‘epidemic’ experienced by high-achieving women leaders.

You can listen to PowrUp in all its glory on any of your favourite podcasting platforms – make sure to hit subscribe or follow so that you get notified when new episodes drop each week!

Is Imposter Syndrome holding you back? 🎙

After publishing her 11th book, writer, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou admitted that after each one, she still thinks, “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody”. Liz Bingham, a diversity and inclusion champion and award-winning business woman has thought, “What are you doing here? What do you think you’re doing? You’re going to be found out.” Even Tom Hanks has admitted, “No matter what I’ve done, there comes a point where you think, when are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?”.

Imposter syndrome is a term coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes and describes a feeling most of us have experienced. While there’s no official diagnosis, the phenomenon is a form of self-doubt – and has a real impact on the 82% of people who experience it. An affliction of high-achievers, imposter syndrome is the fear that personal accomplishments are the outcome of luck or oversight, not merit and achievement. While imposter syndrome can affect anyone, these waves of doubt disproportionately impact women and women of colour

The double whammy: the role of overconfidence in leadership

A recently published study revealed that, when asked about past performance, men tend to inflate their results at double the rate of women. The study first asked students to complete a set of maths problems; the men and women performed about the same. When asked to recall their performance a year later, most students overestimated theirs. However, while women consistently exaggerated their performance by 15%, men did it by twice as much.

Next, researchers divided participants into teams and asked them to choose a representative to compete against other teams in a maths challenge. Both women and men were willing to exaggerate their capabilities to bag the role; however, because women didn’t do it to the same degree, they were selected a third less often than their abilities would indicate. 

If natural overconfidence is a factor in men being overrepresented in leadership roles, then the underconfidence associated with imposter syndrome is arguably a weight holding women down a few rungs. 🪜 Feel unfair? Both genders in the study mistook confidence for competence. We’re all guilty of attribution bias, so one thing we can do today is changing how we see and present ourselves.

Expose imposter syndrome for the imposter that it is

Change your critical inner voice

Most of us have an ongoing internal commentary, and this inner dialogue can skew to be harsh and judgemental. Anne Elder-Knight, a leading New Zealand-based leadership coach, often gets her clients to complete a simple exercise. They are asked to spend 2 minutes listing their flaws on a piece of paper, and then to do the same with their strengths. Set a timer and try it yourself to get an (often shocking) understanding of your internal dialogue.

Once you’re aware of your critical inner voice, you can start to change it. While positive affirmations may feel like the domain of influencers, scientific evidence supports their role in changing how you view yourself. Start small, and pick an affirmation to say when your feet hit the floor each morning (this article gives a nice overview of how it works). 

Seek out examples

Adding to our blindspots is the adage that you can’t be what you can’t see – minorities often lack visible examples of people like them succeeding in their chosen paths. While we can’t immediately change a top-heavy structure of white males, we can actively seek out examples of leaders who look like us or an environment that normalises our dreams. For the successful duo at Girls That Invest, this meant subscribing to endless podcasts before launching their own. Surrounding themselves with podcasts tricked their brains into believing everyone was already doing it, which made it much easier for them to think they could too.

Celebrate successes and share failures

People who struggle with impostor feelings tend to brush off their accomplishments, which only exacerbates self-doubt. While we think we know ourselves better than anyone else, research shows we really don’t. Numerous studies have shown that our coworkers are often better than us at picking our personality traits. Yet another reason is to ask for feedback – and pay extra attention to the good bits! 

Have you ever told someone something embarrassing about yourself? How often do you find out they have experienced something similar? Sharing failures can be a real confidence boost because most of us are guilty of comparing our insides with others’ outsides. Take Canva, for example. Just a decade after its launch, the company was valued at over $50 billion, and Melanie Perkins, the attractive, young founder, is now the second richest woman in Australia. All very glossy, but that story doesn’t include the 100 rejections Perkins endured on her path to the top. Starting conversations about failure makes us realise that we are all experiencing bumps along the way – and can put our abilities in perspective. 

30 second action

The next time you need to do something out of your comfort zone, spend 30 seconds beforehand talking to yourself in the third person as a coach might. Studies have shown that this simple action can change your critical inner language into what you’d offer as a supportive and helpful friend. 🫶

Want more on Imposter syndrome?

Learn the history and some surprising facts that might make you question whether this ‘syndrome’ is a syndrome at all. Listen to episode 3 of the PowrUp podcast:

Mind the pay gap

You know about the gender pay gap; worldwide, women only make 77 cents for every dollar men earn – with The Nordic Region and New Zealand considered the most gender-equal, closing in on 90 cents. What you might not know is the actual dollar figure the shortfall represents. 

We hope you’re sitting down. Lower salaries, alongside other gendered financial setbacks (caregiving, divorce), mean you risk missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time you retire. Generally, women hang up their powrsuits with 30% less in their nest eggs, then have the financially dubious advantage of living longer. Suffice it to say; the ‘retirement gap‘ hits hard.

Women can find it hard to put themselves first, but when it comes to money, we have to. Not only do systemic factors conspire against us, but we unknowingly conspire against ourselves.🤦🏼‍♀️ Many of us are guilty of choosing to conserve money (saving, budgeting), over growing it by maximising our pay and investing the proceeds (stay tuned for a future powr edition for the latter!).

Have you ​​ever (incorrectly) assumed that if you do well, your performance will be recognised and rewarded? It’s ok; we’ve all been there! Salary secrecy means organisations can pay employees what they’ll accept, not necessarily what they deserve. While organisations are still (knowingly or unknowingly) paying different amounts for the same job, it’s up to you to ensure you receive a fair market rate for your contribution.

Because you’re worth it

Researchers have found that women underestimate their value across every industry and level. In a famous university study, students were given the same work and asked to pay themselves what they thought was fair. Men paid themselves 63% more than women. In another experiment, both genders were paid a fixed amount and asked to work as much as they thought was equitable. Guess who worked longer, harder, and did more accurate work? 💃🏻

Data from tech job search platform Otta recently revealed that women candidates suggest between 7-10% lower salary requirements than men – no matter the role or level of experience. Researchers explain that pay expectations come from a different sense of entitlement and self-worth. Thankfully there’s a solution.

Flash your cash

When women know what others are being paid, pay gaps have shown to disappear. In the same university study, another group of women were given fake data on payments to past study participants. Unsurprisingly, after viewing the data, women expected the same as what the male participants had received. Simply by knowing what others make, women are in a stronger position to peg the worth of their work and demand equal pay.

Organisations like Mind the Gap in NZ are celebrating companies committed to pay gap reporting. Also doing great work on salary transparency for our Kiwi Powrsuitors are our friends over at The Curve

In structural attempts to right pay wrongs, legal moves are bringing income into the open. Many US states are passing laws requiring employers to disclose salary ranges in job postings or after the first interview. And some Aussie banks are reinvesting some of their super-profits in removing pay secrecy clauses. Are our eyes watering from those earnings or pride in their attempt to create a ‘more inclusive Australia‘? 😉 Sadly, many organisations are struggling to act in good faith with new regulatory requirements, proving that women can’t rely on structural changes to solve the problem. 

By December, all women are effectively working for free. Global pay gaps between 10-23% mean that the average woman is only paid between 281-332 days out of a total of 365 days. With hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, this week’s action could be more valuable than winning the lottery.

30 second action

Knowing the fair market value of your work is as easy as it is important!

If you work in an organisation with transparent pay policies, just ask to see where you sit. If you don’t, you can still search your local job market for your salary benchmark with Hays (Australia and NZ), Robert Walters (Global) and Glassdoor (Global), or if you are job seeking, try this hack.

You can, of course, always ask people in similar roles what they’re paid (gasp).

Learn how to negotiate your salary

In episode 1 of the PowrUp podcast, Nat and Kristen share their top tips for negotiating your salary. Learn how to be confident, prepared and calm and get what you deserve:

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