Janet Yellin's job heading the Federal Reserve brings to four the number of women overseeing the global economy. Yellin joins Christine Lagarde at the IMF, Angela Merkel in Germany, and Mary Jo White at the SEC in positions of enormous influence over how money is saved, spent or accessed worldwide. They are leaders in an industry historically run by men.
Yet throughout history women have been responsible for managing home finances: saving, purchasing and budgeting for themselves and their families. Increasingly they are essential breadwinners as well.
As part of the Changing Lives of Women series, NPR looks at a paradox of women and money: while women perform statistically better than men as investors, they are rarely in the top tiers of finance and generally much less confident about how they manage money. As women in the U.S. anticipate living longer, how are they approaching -- or avoiding -- planning for financial security? How do women in immigrant communities save, share and raise money? And in the U.S., what attitudes or cultural expectations shape how women "do" money?
"Women & Finance" airs the week of March 24 and over the three weeks leading up to Tax Day, through April 14, on Morning Edition on witf.
Women and Investing - Women in the U.S. have more assets to invest than ever; more are single or making as much as their spouses. Yet they continue to lack confidence when it comes to investing that money -- even though studies show that when they do, they get better returns than men. NPR's Jennifer Ludden speaks with women about their beliefs and fears about money management.
Women and Business School - A look at new research exploring gender disparities in business school enrollment. Women report they are less likely to enter business school because they perceive material success to be in conflict with ethical impulses. New research suggests men are likely to experience the same conflict -- they just seem more comfortable in living with it. NPR's social science reporter Shankar Vedantam explains how this contributes to a "leaky pipeline" in preparing women for more lucrative careers.
Indian Women and Gold - For Indian women, gold is not just about ornamentation. It's a solid investment and insurance policy against bad economic times and marriages that could go sour. The obsession is worth tens of billions of dollars that ties up India's foreign reserves in a commodity that often does little more than sit in vaults. But enterprising, practical Indian women are now using it to get loans to fix houses or start small businesses. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.
Cundinas - Cundinas are popular with Mexican immigrants in the U.S. looking to save money. A group of family, neighbors or co-workers gets together and gives the appointed "leader" a certain amount of money. Each participant gets the big pot of money at the end of that week or month, like an interest-free loan system. NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji talks with Latinas in L.A. about why they participate in cundinas instead of going to their local bank.
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