by Jessica Jervis-Viville

Women from Carroll County gathered at Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton to learn the importance of why money matters at the fourth annual Women Empowering Women event.

Amber Bennett speaks at the University of West Georgia Richards College of Business' annual event, Women Empowering Women.
Amber Bennett

The event was hosted by the University of West Georgia’s Richards College of Business and sponsored by Walmart.com and Tanner Health System. The panelists at this year’s event included  Amber Bennett, business consultant for the University of Georgia's Small Business Development Center; Kim Holder, director of the UWG Center for Economic Education; and Stayce McCall, staff director for the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Dr. Faye McIntyre, dean of the Richards College of Business, opened the event by giving a brief introduction of each panelist and highlighting why the topic of money was chosen as the focus of the event.

“We chose the topic this year—Your Money Matters—because it matters to all of us,” McIntyre explained. “As women, we tend not to have those financial conversations and we want that to start today.”

The panelists kicked off the discussion by describing why it’s vital to be financially literate, especially as women.

“For me personally, financial literacy is having the skills, knowledge and the ability to understand finances,” said McCall. “It’s also the courage to know and make informed decisions about your personal finances.”

Kim Holder speaks at the University of West Georgia Richards College of Business' annual event, Women Empowering Women.
Kim Holder

Bennett and Holder both agreed that it is imperative that women educate themselves on finances. It’s not just about consuming this information, they explained, but also using this information to better one’s financial situation.

A diverse group of women attended the event, coming from many different backgrounds and financial situations. The panelists gave different advice for each age group.

Holder offered advice to the younger crowd, who may just be starting to get to know how to manage their money.

“I think the biggest thing you can do now is to not dig a hole you can’t get out of,” explained Holder. “I grew up very poor, and I took out a lot of student loans. I realized at age 41 that I was still paying on student loans that I took out at age 17. If you don’t make mistakes now, then you don’t have to pay for them later as an adult.”

McCall tackled the older age group, who may be focusing on things such as retirement.

“When making career changes, know that your skill set can transfer to another position,” she advised. “Know your skill, your worth and your transferable skills that you can take from one organization to another.”

Stayce McCall speaks at the University of West Georgia Richards College of Business' annual event, Women Empowering Women.
Stayce McCall

Bennett spoke to the two age groups and the business owners in the room.

“For the people who are looking to start a business, the number one thing people need is money,” she said. “Often, I will sit down with people who have not been very strategic with their personal finances. When it comes to getting a loan or seeking investors, their personal financial statements don’t reflect a good business owner. There is an education piece missing. If you currently own a business it’s still important to be educated on those finances.”

The recurring theme throughout the panel was education. Women should educate themselves on finances, as it is key to a successful future. The other key word that stood out was courage. Women should be courageous and have the willingness to learn. Lastly, the panelists reiterated that women should know their worth. This worth will be a driving factor throughout their lives.

“Pay yourself first,” Holder concluded, “because you are worth it.”

Posted on October 6, 2017