Innovation: An interactive hub for women to hone their financial skills
Occupation: Journalist, consultant, grad student
Hobbies: Running, shopping at thrift stores
From budgeting to investing, what every woman needs to know about her finances
By Michael Cross-Barnet
Photography by John Oliver
A while back, Krishana Davis noticed a curious difference between her male and female friends. Many of the men would take out and glance at their smartphones from time to time, but they didn’t seem to be texting or reading the news. She asked them what was going on.
“They were checking their stocks,” Davis says. None of the women she knew did that.
“The end goal, at some point, is where a woman is financially stable enough to start thinking about investing.”
It was a revelation to Davis, one that prompted her to rethink her own finances – and eventually led to the goal of helping other women “move toward financial freedom” by better understanding how to handle their money. With SheVestors, she plans to create a hub for women in Baltimore (and beyond, via the Internet) to gain skills, share information and build confidence when it comes to budgeting, financial planning and investing.
It’s needed, she says, because most women don’t see themselves as investors. As a result, they “are leaving a lot of money on the table.”
Davis, 24, hopes to launch a website in 2015 and expects to make heavy use of online tools such as Webinars, Twitter chats, and Google Hangouts to spread information and encourage women to support each other in navigating the sometimes daunting terrain of budgeting and investing. There would also be in- person panel discussions and meet-ups featuring advice from local women who are leaders in the financial world.
A graduate of Morgan State University now pursuing a master’s in public administration at the University of Baltimore, Davis plans to tap her higher education contacts to reach college women – many of who are forced to think seriously about finances for the first time because of student loans.
However, Davis, who grew up and still lives in Baltimore’s Belair- Edison neighborhood, also stresses that investing is not just for the educated or the affluent. Of course, for women struggling to meet their basic needs, “investing is not always their first thought.” That’s why a key component of SheVestors is learning about budgeting and elementary financial planning – important skills for people of any income or education level. Women can start by learning to establish a household budget, then move on to thinking about longer-term tools like IRAs and 401(k)s. Eventually, she wants them to be able to consider the full range of financial options.
“The end goal, at some point, is where a woman is financially stable enough to start thinking about investing,” she says.