After living in Washington, DC for over 6 years, I found myself feeling lost and unfulfilled. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career, nor how to find my passion. I’d worked in the nonprofit realm for my entire adult life, as it is very important to me to feel like I’m contributing to a cause and giving back to the world. Unfortunately, in my day job, I didn’t feel like I was making a real difference. At a large organization, it can be hard (or impossible!) to see how you are making an impact on the issues that you care about.
I began volunteering for various organizations to satisfy my passion for women’s rights and reproductive health. I applied for and was chosen for multiple leadership opportunities, but I still wasn’t feeling fulfilled on a day to day basis.
One day, it clicked. I was at a meeting for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington’s Developing Leaders Program, and we were going through a salary negotiation workshop. I realized that I could combine my passion for helping women live their best lives with my excitement and penchant for personal finance.
I’d already spent a lot of my free time reading personal finance blogs and books, giving money advice to friends and family, and planning for my own financial future. I also noticed that many of the amazing women around me were stressed out about money. They either had no idea where to start, or they were too terrified to take the steps they needed to reach their money goals.
It became clear that I could use my passion and skills to give women the support and tools they need to take control of their finances, prepare for the future, and achieve their goals. I looked around for organizations that work directly with women to give them financial tools and education. I realized I wasn’t finding what I was looking for, so I decided to found Maggie Germano Financial Coaching and create the work for myself.
Why focus mainly on women? There are many reasons I am passionate about helping women get their money right:
On average, American women make 79 cents on the dollar compared to men for the same work. It’s even worse for women of color. To add insult to injury, fields dominated by women typically pay less than fields dominated by men.
Women often believe they are less qualified for jobs, and therefore ask for or settle for less money. They may not go up for that promotion or raise because they feel like they don’t deserve it. This results in money left on the table, which follows women throughout their entire career.
Domestic Violence and Financial Abuse
There are many ways that money fits in with domestic violence. Some abusers use money as a way to control their victim; they either don’t let them have any access to the money, or they closely monitor their spending. They may even try to sabotage their victim’s career. Many women have difficulty leaving their abuser because they don’t have the money to support themselves or their children. For more information about financial abuse, visit the Purple Purse.
If you’ve read anything written by Brené Brown, you know that shame tends to affect women more than men. And shame is paralyzing. There is plenty of shame around money- which can lead to denial, isolation, and avoidance, which can compound financial issues. I want to help heal the shame that revolves around money so that women can move past things like debt and achieve their dreams.
Since I’ve started this business, I’ve had the privilege of working with many amazing women. I’ve created a nonjudgmental community by holding Money Circle gatherings, and I’ve noticed positive changes in my clients’ attitudes towards money.
Do you think you would benefit from financial coaching? Schedule a free discovery call with me!
Certified Financial Education Instructor. Feminist and financial coach for women. Founder of Money Circle.