Women’s Empowerment

Myth: Men should manage the money.

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Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA®, CES™, Francis Financial 

The myth that men should manage the money is one that many women succumb to when they get married. This includes women who for years managed their own money during college and at the beginning of a career. However, approximately 80% of women will end up having to manage their money without a partner at some point in their life due to divorce or the death of a spouse. Stacy and Kathleen investigate this myth and how it can severely disadvantage women throughout their lives.

Take Aways:

  1. The upside. There is an upside to men always managing the money. In the short run, some women who are intimidated by finances or who don’t feel they have the time to devote to money management get relief from this responsibility. Eventually, the upside diminishes and can create a real problem for women after a divorce, or the death of their partner. 
  1. Try a money date. A great way to get more comfortable with money is to have a date night to talk about finances in a non-threatening and engaging way. Listen and learn how Stacy and her husband have gotten creative with their money dates so everyone gets their needs met. 
  1. Use apps. It is important for each person to fully understand where the money is going. Using finance tools like is a great way to integrate spending with education about where your money is going. It is an easy online system that connects with your bank accounts, tracks your spending, and even categorizes them for you. 


Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA®, CES™ 

Stacy is the President and CEO of Francis Financial, which she founded 15 years ago. She is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) and a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist (CES™). She is also the founder of Savvy Ladies™, a nonprofit that has provided free personal finance education and resources to over 15,000 women. 

Stacy has received numerous awards including Investment News Top 20 Women to Watch in the United States, Financial Planning Association’s Heart of Financial Planning Award and Financial Planning Magazine’s Pro Bono Award. She was also listed as a National Money Hero by CNN Money Magazine and received the Women’s Choice Award for one of the best financial advisors for women. 

She is a nationally-recognized financial expert as an active member of CNBC’s Digital Financial Advisor Council, the Forbes Finance Council, as well as an expert contributor for The Wall Street Journal. She has appeared in over 100 media outlets including CNBC, CNN, Good Morning America, Investment News, Money Magazine, NBC, The New York Times, and USA Today. 

Special Offer:

Stacy recently released her own podcast. Every other Tuesday, tune in to Financially Ever After with Stacy Francis. Download Unveiling the Unspoken Truth, The Financial Challenges Women Face During and After Divorce.

Dream, Girl: A Must See Movie for Advisors, Bankers, and Clients

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Last Wednesday night I skipped my usual mountain bike ride and attended a screening of the award-winning film, “Dream, Girl.” This documentary focuses on the daily lives of five female entrepreneurs and shows how complicated, and wonderful being a women business owner can be.  Having been in business for myself for more than two decades, the messages in the film hit home and inspired me to share this film with you. Here are my top 3 favorite themes:

  • Women who have a passion for business can and should embrace the entrepreneur within.
  • Success doesn’t mean you don’t stumble and fall down. It means you stumble, fall down, then brush yourself off, learn something, and move on.
  • Women can and should support each other to reach their full potential because together we can change the world.

Intrigued? Then find a screening in your area by visiting

If you are a women entrepreneur what do you find challenging and rewarding about this career choice? If you advise female entrepreneurs or help fund startups, how can you use this documentary to learn more about your target market?

Together we can help all girls – big and small – think BIG.


Myth: I don’t need to worry about money, some day my prince will come.

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Barbara Stanny, Author Prince Charming Isn’t Coming

Women can have a love/hate relationship with money. Even in today’s society, some women feel they are not going to be attractive to a mate if they are financially put together. Barbara Stanny and Kathleen delve into the notion that women are still waiting for Prince Charming to rescue them financially instead of empowering themselves to learn about investments and money management. Listen in as they discuss the importance of busting this myth wide open so that women of all ages can be more financially intelligent and set a good example for the next generation.

Take Aways:

Barbara explains that getting smart about money involves a three-pronged process – the outer work (education), the inner work (money mindsets), and the higher work (your life purpose).

You need to take small steps consistently and you will see remarkable results.

Money doesn’t come from what you earn, it comes from what you do with what you earn. (Click to Tweet)]

 Barbara Stanny is the best-selling author of Prince Charming Isn’t Coming, Secrets of Six-Figure Women, and Overcoming Underearning®.  She has been teaching women how to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives for 20 plus years. An experienced mentor, wealth coach, and sought-after speaker, Barbara can help you create the wealth you desire and the life you deserve. 

Special Offer:

Free e-book “So You’ve Made Good Money…Now What?

A Man is a Plan.

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Paula Harris, Co-Founder, WH Cornerstone Investments

A man is a plan is a myth many women, unfortunately, use to avoid dealing with their finances. In this podcast, listen to Kathleen interview Paula about how to break this myth down so you can start to make simple decisions every day to reach financial security.

Listen in and discover:

  • Why it is important to take care of yourself financially and not wait until you are married to let your partner do it for you.
  • How to practice the “set it and forget” method of saving.
  • Ways to set realistic financial goals.
  • Why delaying gratification today is part of any sound financial plan.
  • How a certified financial planner can help.

WH Cornerstone’s co-founder, Paula Harris is part financial therapist and part dream architect. She takes great pride in helping her clients, particularly women, obtain financial peace of mind and independence. In addition to her role as co-founder, Paula is very actively involved in the community. In the past, she has served on several boards including serving as the Past President of the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra and the 2012 Chairman of the Board for the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. She currently is an advisory board member of empowerHER.

Paula is a graduate of Providence College and now lives in Plymouth, MA and the Berkshires with her husband and co-founder, Bill Harris.

To sign up for the Breaking Money Silence Podcast, click here.

6 Must-Read Books for Women Entrepreneurs

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Below is a list of resources for entrepreneurial women, as well as the bankers and financial advisors who work with them. These resources provide comprehensive valuable advice to women entrepreneurs. All of the books are available on

A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating: How Conversation Gets Deals Done
By Molly Fletcher

Effective negotiation is rooted in establishing trust and building relationships. In this practical guide, a former sport agent reveals her proven approach to negotiating and addresses how gender influences this process.

Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant Expanded edition by Kim, W. Chan, Renée Mauborgne (2015) Hardcover
By W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

This book challenges the tenets of competitive strategy and calls for a shift in focus from competing to creating new market space and hence making the competition irrelevant. This book is for clients who are launching a business or want to taking an existing one to the next level.

Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big
By Julia Pimsleur

The author shares her inspiring story of building her own company and raising millions in capital. This is a guide for women like her who have a great idea and need to find the resources to take it into the big leagues.

Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life
By Barbara Stanny

The author of the besting selling, ground breaking book, Prince Charming Isn’t Coming interviews 150 successful women to develop seven key strategies for earning more. This book offers tips and strategies for women, both entrepreneurs and executives, who are ready to embrace their value and be paid what they are worth.

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know
By Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

This New York Times Bestseller attempts to answer the question, “Is confidence hardwired or can it be learned?” Written by the authors of Womenomics, it is a great resource for women entrepreneurs who find a lack of confidence is holding them back.

The Sassy Ladies’ Toolkit for Start-Up Businesses
By Michelle Girasole, Wendy Hanson, and Miriam Perry

This book offers an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide for women who want to start their own businesses. Written by 3 entrepreneurial women who have been have been there and know what every woman needs to consider when starting out.

Myth: Selling is Undignified

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Selling is Undignified

Eleanor Beaton, Founder of Fierce Feminine Leadership

Join Kathleen and Eleanor for an enlightening conversation as they explore this myth.  Eleanor discusses how most women entrepreneurs fall into this false belief and fail to invest enough time into the marketing and sales part of their businesses. Listen and discover how to defy this way of thinking and start clearly asking or the sale.

Eleanor Beaton is the founder of Fierce Feminine Leadership. She is an award-winning journalist, speaker and women’s leadership coach. Eleanor helps emerging and established women leaders step into their power, dial up their influencing skills and take their seats at the tables where the big decisions get made. For more information, visit

Special Breaking Money SilenceTM Offer: Take Eleanor’s Fierce Feminine Leadership Assessment at no cost and discover YOUR fierce feminine leadership style.

Have you ever been stuck on a cliff?

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Stuck on a Cliff?I have and it’s one scary situation.

This past February, my husband and I were skiing Alta, Utah, on a bluebird day. We skied into a bowl looking for powder. I zoomed past him, through some tight trees, anticipating a huge amount of snow on the other side. To my surprise, I had skied up on a narrow cliff. Now I was stuck on a ledge that was three ski widths wide and I had nowhere to go. While my husband watched from below, I wrestled with a difficult decision. Do I jump off the cliff or turn my skis around 180 degrees and slide down a small rocky ledge to safety? My heart was pounding and I broke out into a cold sweat. Time was not making this decision any easier. So I made the call.

Entrepreneurs are faced with tricky situations that can feel very similar to what I felt standing on that cliff. With little time and resources, inaction is not an option. You have to take a deep breath and just make a call. Sometimes you land on your feet, and sometimes you fall on your face. Either way you learn from the situation.

That day I decided to not jump the cliff. Instead looking like a turtle stuck on its back, I rolled over and made the 180-degree turn so I could slide down the ledge. In a quick second, I reminded myself that I ski rocks all the time in the East at Mad River Glen. This would be easy. Then I said a quick prayer and let my muscle memory do the rest. It was not pretty, but I landed safely in the soft snow below as my husband cheered. Another disaster avoided. Another lesson learned.

Tight spots in life and in business are unavoidable. When you find yourself suddenly in one, remember these three points:

  1. Prepare yourself for the unexpected. While I prefer to ski safely, the idea that I might get stuck in a tight spot skiing a large mountain like Alta was not a complete surprise. The same thing is true when running your own business. The joy and challenge of being a business owner is you never know what is around the corner.
  2. Draw on your past experiences. I had not been stuck on a cliff before that day. However, I have been in tricky situations when skiing. Using past experiences, I rapidly realized the best way out. When faced with a dilemma in the business work, you need to think about the past and how you have pushed through in other similar, yet different experiences. The best part of being a successful entrepreneur is you eventually realize you can conquer any challenge.
  3. Check your ego at the door. Hucking myself down that ledge looked nothing like you see in an extreme ski video. In fact, if anyone skied by they would have laughed as I lay on my back, wiggling around to turn my skis the other direction. When faced with a personal or professional challenge, don’t worry about looking good. Instead power through, get your hands dirty, and take a risk. Trust me—victory is all the ego boost you will need.

 How do you get through difficult situations in your business? What strengths do you draw upon to help you through?

What are you doing to celebrate International Women’s Day?

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Today is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is gender parity. This topic is near and dear to my heart as a woman business owner dedicated to empowering women (and the men who love and work with them) financially.

It is not too late to celebrate this special day. Here are three ways to do so:

1. Take the pledge for parity.
I took the pledge online and it literally took five seconds. The best part is you are not required to give your e-mail address. So you can support the cause but not be on their list. If you prefer social media, then use the hashtag #PledgeforParity on Twitter or on other social media platforms. Include my Twitter address, @kbkspeaks, in your post and I will like or retweet your pledge to amplify the call to action.

2. Teach your daughter or niece how to financially negotiate. If you prefer a more personalized approach, then empower a young woman in your life. Encourage your daughter, niece, or a special young lady in your life to learn the art of negotiating money. Why? Because part of the cause of the gender pay gap is women not knowing how to or not having the guts to ask for their fair share. Help break this cycle by teaching young women these vital career skills.

3. Role model gender parity at your firm. Review your hiring procedures, look for opportunities to promote qualified women, and educate your employees about unconscious gender bias. We live in a society that has conditioned us to think, feel, and act in biased ways when it comes to women and money. Do your part as a leader, and encourage staff members to become more aware of these tendencies. Then talk about ways to overcome them in your company.

March is Women’s History Month, so if you don’t get a chance to act today you have an entire month to do so.

What steps will you take to ensure gender parity is achieved in our lifetime? Together we can achieve equal pay for all.

Top 7 Books on Women and Wealth for Your Summer Reading List

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Technically, summer stays with us until September 21 so there’s still plenty of time for summer reading! Here is a list of books I recommend for financial advisors looking to be more effective in the area of women and wealth.

Book - The End Of MenThe End of Men: And the Rise of Women – Hanna Rosin

In this landmark book, Rosin reveals how this new state of affairs is radically shifting the power dynamics between men and women at every level of society, with profound implications for marriage, sex, children, work, and more.

Book - The Female BrainThe Female Brain – Louann Brizendine

Pioneering neuropsychiatrist Dr. Brizendine brings together the latest findings to show how the unique structure of the female brain determines how women think, what they value, how they communicate, and who they love.

Book - Knowing Your ValueKnowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth – Mika Brzezinski

Get an in-depth look at how women today achieve their deserved recognition and financial worth. Through interviews of prominent women and men, Brzezinski reveals why women are paid less and the pitfalls women face when trying to get their worth at work while trying to move up in their field.

Book - Moving Forward On Your OwnMoving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook for Widows – Kathleen M. Rehl

This practical workbook helps widows be more confident, knowledgeable, and secure about their money matters during this transition.

Book - On My Own Two FeetOn My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance – Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar

Through the use of their financial planning experience, Thakor and Kedar teach young women what they need to know about saving and investing in language that is user-friendly.

Book - Secrets of 6 Figure WomenThe Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life – Barbara Stanny

Stanny explores the traits of financially successful women and offers practical guidance to those women who aspire to increase their wealth.

Book - Women's WorthWomen’s Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence – Eleanor Blayney

Along with tips for improving financial confidence, Blayney provides information and practical advice about the fundamentals of financial planning as it applies to women and their specific needs.

If you find any of these particularly helpful, I’d love to hear your feedback.

Women and Wealth: Navigating the Realities of the Workplace Today to Get What you Need Financially Tomorrow

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Today’s workplace is a complex environment that challenges ambitious women. (click to tweet) The path to the top isn’t straightforward and it’s critical to understand the workplace dynamics in order to succeed.  Bonnie Marcus, author of new book, Politics for Promotion spoke with me the other day on my co-hosted webinar series, The Client Connection. Here is what Bonnie had to say about how women can navigate the workplace to promote themselves to reach their career goals.

  1. Observe: Taking time to observe workplace politics is an important first step.  You don’t have to get caught up in the dynamics, but you do need to know who formally and informally makes decisions, who has influence, gets special attention and how are promotions made. By learning more about your workplace culture, you are better prepared to use these politics to get ahead.
  1. Identify Your Vision:  To be effective, you need to have a clear vision as to your unique skills and how they can benefit your boss and/or the firm.  What is it you want?  Who do you need to know to get there?  How can you connect with these influencers to get what you want and need professionally?
  1. Strategic Networking: Many women (and men for that matter) don’t have time to network without a focus.  Think about who you want to know and how you can get to know them.  If you don’t have time for after work events, consider meeting someone for coffee or lunch during the week. Be intentional with your networking and only focus on those people who can support you and your career.

Want more tips on how to effectively navigate the realities of the workplace today to get what you need financially tomorrow, check out the recording of the webinar here.

Bonnie Marcus-TCC