In a press conference held last week, Pennsylvania's Department of Banking and Securities Secretary Robin L. Wiessmann announced "Investing in Women," an initiative aimed at providing women with information about banking, credit, saving, and investing, while offering practical resources for navigating finances.
Wiessmann was joined by Julie Bancroft, Chief Public Affairs Officer of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV).
"Through strategic partnerships, the goal of 'Investing in Women' is to evaluate investment habits, stereotypes, and obstacles for women and reduce the gender gap through education, awareness, and research," said Secretary Wiessmann. "By presenting fundamental concepts about the importance of financial capability and the unique financial challenges facing women, we encourage women in Pennsylvania, stakeholders, and partners to get involved."
"Investing in Women" will have three main elements:
- Financial education presentations across the state on common financial challenges for women including credit, investing, and retirement savings
- A studying of the financial capability of women to hear directly about the tools, resources, and skills required to prepare for any financial situation
- A financial capability forum to be held in May
Women are more likely to take time away from work to raise children or to act as a caregiver for other family members, leaving fewer years with income to put into retirement savings. Women also live longer than men, but have lower average salaries and wages than men. The number of Pennsylvanian women saving for retirement or investing is lower than the national average.
“We’re excited to be a partner in Secretary Wiessmann’s new ‘Investing in Women’ initiative,” said Julie Bancroft, PCADV. “Feeling trapped by a lack of financial resources, or access to them, is a reality for victims of domestic violence as financial abuse occurs in 99 percent of abusive situations. Economic empowerment initiatives, like ‘Investing in Women,’ help survivors build knowledge and resources, leading to long-term financial independence and safety.”
The department’s Investor Education and Consumer Outreach is part of the governor’s Consumer Financial Protection Initiative. The staff works with state and local government agencies, service providers, community and trade organizations, the General Assembly, the military community, schools, and other partners to help Pennsylvanians become well-informed about the financial marketplace.