Studies find Iowa women earn 78-cents for every dollar a man earns, while three out four working women earn less than 30-thousand dollars a year. With statistics like those as a motive, the state is holding its first "Iowa Women and Money Conference" this weekend. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says the free summit is designed to draw women from across the region who want to improve their financial success and security.
Fitzgerald says: "We’re going to have financial experts talking about all of the different issues that women, and everybody, has to deal with, whether it’s your budget, how to invest money, parents coming back to live with the family, kids that come home from college to live with the family, just a lot of unique situations. How do we deal with it and how do you best manage your money?" He says the conference aims to address the unique financial issues women face in their work and personal lives.
Fitzgerald says, "Women need to be able to manage their money much better because they’re put in difficult positions. Women have to drop out of the workforce to raise children, or usually the woman is the caregiver, so if grandma or grandpa get sick, it’s the woman in the family that usually has to take off work to take care of them." He says learning to manage money is as important as being able to earn it.
Fitzgerald says, "With the right money management skills, women are better prepared to make smart personal financial decisions." Fitzgerald says: "We know women make less, even if you have a college degree. An average person has a college degree, if you’re a woman, it’s 44-thousand a year. A man will make 61-thousand a year. The differences are not just because the woman is not educated or whatever. There’s a real difference out there."
A line-up of speakers and financial experts will discuss credit and borrowing, identity theft, college savings, investing, money basics and more. The conference is Saturday at Drake University in Des Moines. All 300 seats are full and Fitzgerald says the waiting list was over 200. Next year, he says, they’ll plan for even more attendees.