Finance Advice: What I’d Tell My Younger Self As A Black Woman In Finance
Money (and our understanding of finance) is a foundation of life, it impacts almost all of our choices, whether it’s what to have for lunch or when we will retire – so why don’t we like talking about it? Well, financial expert and debut author, Makala Green, is changing all that. Her book, The Money Edit, is a no-jargon, straight-talking guide, intent on giving us all the confidence and clarity to understand money and help us make the right choices – no matter what life stage we are at.
Here, Makala shares with GLAMOUR readers the four pieces of advice that she would her younger self as a Black woman in finance.
Looking back at my younger years, I am often amazed at how life has turned out. For an industry I had no plans to be in, my achievements over 18 years in financial services go beyond my wildest dreams. Through the trials and triumphs, the one thing that stays the same is who I am, my values, and my passion for making a financial difference in people’s lives. But if I could go back in time and give financial advice to my younger self, here’s what I would say.
Be the change you want to see
Let’s face it: The financial industry is not commonly known for its diversity – both gender and race. Black women in finance are often plagued with constant challenges and steep hill battles to rise to the top. In my personal experience, one of the major challenges was visibility – the struggle to be seen and heard. Women hold just 17% of the financial services sector, and statistics state in the fund management industry Black people make up only 1%. This reality can often discourage black women in the financial industry who are the minority. However, over time you realise that when the status quo needs changing, you need to make the change. You cannot become what you want by remaining who you are; you need to change to see change – without losing what’s true to you. The popular poet Maya Angelo said, “if you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
My advice: Don’t be afraid to embrace who you are or are destined to be. Fear makes us vanilla, and perfection is bad for us. It’s not always about fitting in with the majority or impressing other people but about stepping out of your shell, daring to be different, and embracing your uniqueness.
Don’t be frightened to fail
Whether good or bad, everything happens for a reason – even though it might seem like a setback or failure. It is only natural to feel like things are not meant to happen or stress that life is unfair. The truth is without mistakes and failures, you will never learn. Once you understand this, you will see failures as opportunities in disguise – instead of dwelling on disappointments. I have made many mistakes in my career, especially in my early years and have encountered countless failures and temptations to give up. Instead, I chose the courage to continue, which deepened my experience, made me more fearless and laid a solid foundation for the successful career I enjoy today.