I keep hearing the same story again and again from professionally successful women. Variations on:
“My grandma told me: ‘Always have your own money.'”
It could be a mother, aunt, neighbor, Girl Scout leader, teacher, cousin, mentor or favorite coach.
The bottom line: An older, respected woman looked her straight in the eye, and in her own but direct way said:
Do not ever depend on a man financially.
Money is power, and never, ever give up that power.
You are powerful. Never chose to give up that power.
You are responsible for your own life.
You are not a victim.
I believe in you.
Many of the women who tell me these stories are in their 40s, 50s and older, and their champions were women of a generation or two more senior than that. This is important because it is clear that women found ways to be financially independent — whether through work, or even squirreling away cash in their own name or shoebox in the back of a closet — even if they had but a fraction of the economic and career opportunity you and I enjoy.
They got it. And they made sure that the women who came after them got it, too.
If we are going to close the pay gap, move women forward, create true equality, we must make sure that our children get it. Listen to this episode to learn how and why.