Women definitely make better investors, because investing, by default, is a game of common sense and patience and women possess this in spades,” Ms Deena Mehta, the lone woman member on the board of directors of the Bombay Stock Exchange, said today. Speaking at a workshop hosted by Moneylife Foundation on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Ms Mehta said that keeping women and children out of the financial area is something a family cannot afford today.
Chandita Mukherjee speaking about her organization Comet Media
Ms Mehta dwelt a lot on what families ought to do about their finances. “Simply sticking to fixed deposits will not help, because inflation will eat away at your money. Understanding the market is necessary, and not difficult. If you can take the pains to learn, you will not only make money, you will also contribute to family fortunes,” she said.
Almost all families are financially sick, because they don’t pay attention to their money, she said. “Women must educate themselves about investing and the market, because if you miss the market, you are missing a lot, and losing a lot of money in the process.”
Nikita Ketkar speaking about ‘Masoom’ her organization working for night school children
Several international studies have shown that women are wiser in investing and they manage finances better, whether it is at home or at the workplace. India’s top banks have prominent women administrators and heads-names like Naina Lal Kidwai, Chanda Kochhar, Ranjana Kumar, Kalpana Morparia. Still, finance, and in general economics, is viewed as a predominantly masculine field. Ms Mehta pointed out how, historically, stock markets had been an exclusive arena, with no entry for women. Hence, till date, very few women have entered the markets. Mass participation in the markets is only a recent phenomenon.
Busting the ‘men-only’ myth on finances, Ms Mehta said, “Most men have zero understanding of financial management, and bad planners. That doesn’t only apply to the husbands, but the fund managers as well. So question the man of the house as well, because there is a very good chance that he is not doing his work properly, or is clueless about what should be done.”
Preeti Telang speaking about ‘Swadhaar- FinAccess’ and its activities
On the occasion of International Women’s Day today, Moneylife Foundation felicitated three women achievers: Ms Preeti Telang, general manager, Swadhaar FinAccess, which helps urban poor women save money and advocates financial literacy among them; Ms Chandita Mukherjee, award-winning short documentary film maker and founder of Comet Media, which develops media to foster education and a scientific spirit; and Ms Nikita Ketkar, founder of Masoom, which supports night schools.
Last year, on this occasion, Moneylife Foundation had felicitated Ms Indrani Malkani, who started the Model School Bus Service and is also involved in some other social projects; Ms Sumaira Ali, noted environmentalist and founder of Awaaz Foundation; and Ms Anandini Thakur, noted civic rights activist from Bandra and chairman of H/West Ward Citizens’ Forum.