Normalising Money Talks


“You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass” 


The above quote is from a small indie movie called “Barbie” – you probably never heard of it. I thought it resonated with this article as we explore one of the biggest contradictions in gender inequality as we approach IWD’s 2024 and its theme: economic empowerment.

Despite playing a significant role in administering finances in most households globally, women are taught very little about how money “works”. 


We’re told that talking about money is “impolite”- and which respectable woman would dare to be so?! 


One of the biggest gaps globally is around women’s unpaid work. According to Oxfam, in care alone [it] is worth $10.8 trillion annually to the economy, […] three times the size of the global technology sector.


For someone who works in the Tech sector like me, these numbers seem just…wild.  


Factors in the Wage Disparity


According to this article from Laura Tyson from Berkley University, factors for economic disparity include:


  • Differences in education
  • Gender differences in occupational choices
  • Women are more likely to have paid part-time work
  • Discrimination, stereotyping and biases


Without equal access to education and employment, how can we ever hope to reach gender equality?


Supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment


As women face significant obstacles to achieving equal participation in the economy, there are some actions we can take to move the needle in the right direction:

  • Support Businesses Owned and/or run by Women


Supporting businesses owned and/or run by women is a powerful way to foster economic empowerment and gender equality. By purchasing products and services from these businesses, we are not only helping them grow: it also challenges traditional gender roles and stereotypes in relation to entrepreneurship. 


Our support can lead to providing stable income for female business owners, and increase representation of women in entrepreneurial roles.


Some of our favourite women-led initiatives can be found via,  and

  • Financial Literacy


Financial literacy is crucial to achieve financial independence and security for women. 


Learning about budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt, can help us (and our immediate female network!) make informed decisions about our finances. 


Improving financial literacy amongst women can lead to greater economic empowerment, improved financial well-being, and increased confidence in managing their financial futures.


Checkout these incredible resources and initiatives – most of the run by women for women:


  • Invest in Women


Investing in women-led business is a mutually beneficial initiative that can yield positive outcomes for both sides of the coin. Women investing in women-led initiatives is the best way to close the loop.

Here’s some platforms worth having a peek:

  • Talk More About Money

Normalising financial discussions and conversations about money in our every day can have a powerful effect on how this topic is perceived. 


Next time you have the opportunity, share an investing tip, contribute with some budgeting advice, or ask that genuine burning question about money that you’ve been trying to solve by Googling without luck. 


And guess what? Talking about money is free (there goes my budgeting tip for you!).


Let’s break some stereotypes and keep the conversation going beyond International Women’s Day, shall we? 




About the Author: With extensive experience in operations and project management, Ale Catania is an empathic leader constantly seeking innovative solutions to drive successful outcomes. Her expertise spans over governance, compliance, cyber security and people operations. She’s a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion and recognises the invaluable contributions that individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to any organisation.