It doesn’t matter if you are single or married, working at home or in an office; if you are a woman and you want to be treated as an equal, you should know that financial independence is going to play an important role. However, while having or even earning your own money is the first step towards achieving your freedom and dignity, it is not enough. You, especially, need to know how to make that money work for you because there are so many situations that can throw your life off balance. For example, the joy of being a mother—without a financial and social support system—may leave you financially vulnerable. Being in a job is only one aspect of achieving financial freedom. Real freedom comes from managing your money well, so that you can not only weather the temporary disruptions in your life but also accumulate wealth to remain independent.
Financial freedom also comes from knowing that you and your loved ones are protected from financial uncertainties. But often, money decision-making get relegated to the spouse, parents or even hawkers of financial products who are only interested in maximizing their sales. That’s the worst money mistake many women make. Unless you own your money and also manage it well, your sense of independence is going to be hollow. Most women who are at the pinnacle of their professional success will testify to this. We reached out to some and asked them to pen down their smartest money decisions, biggest money mistakes, and money management advice. They also talk about gender clichés they have observed and offer advice on how to thwart them. Lastly, there is a letter to young women employees on how to get it right with work and money. On the International Women’s Day, we hope these leaders will inspire you to get smart about managing your money, work and life. Let’s hear them.