Workshop to address common financial concerns for women

CU-Boulder seminar to offer help with budget management, retirement planning
By Anonymous

Living longer. Caring for aging parents. Entering and exiting the workforce during the course of a career. For many women, life engenders a specific set of financial challenges.

That’s the idea behind a new seminar, “Women and Money: Unique Challenges and Considerations.” A collaborative effort between CU-Boulder Faculty Staff Assistance Program, Employee Services’ Financial Wellness team and the Elevations Credit Union Boulder branch, the workshop is set for 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. July 30 at CU-Boulder’s University Memorial Center, Room 247.

Stephanie Leatherman, a financial adviser with Elevations Credit Union, will facilitate the workshop. With more than 20 years’ experience in the financial industry, she said topics like budget management and retirement planning surface in nearly all of her conversations with women.

“Over the last few years I’ve had several women in appointments ask for something like this (seminar) specifically, so I felt like there was a real need to start a workshop,” Leatherman said.

Jennifer Staley, a content specialist with Financial Wellness, and Janeen Haller-Abernethy, a therapist in CU-Boulder’s Faculty Staff Assistance Program, were thinking the same thing. They started developing a personal finance workshop for women as part of CU Boulder’s Work Life program, and invited Leatherman to give the presentation.

Although financial education benefits everyone, Leatherman and Staley agree women’s experiences deserve increased focus.

“On average, women live longer than men, so their retirement needs are different,” Staley said. Given longevity differences, women might need different strategies to maximize their investments.”

Women also participate in the labor force to a different degree than men do. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2015 the labor force participation rate for women was 56.8 percent as compared to 71.9 percent for men.  As a percent of all women workers, 5.6 percent are in part-time jobs, while only 3.8 percent of male workers are in part-time positions. Women are also more likely than men to temporarily exit the workforce to care for children or elderly family members.

These factors can have implications for spending and budget management, as well as affect overall long-term career earnings.

“Statistically, women earn less than men do, which affects several things,” said Leatherman, who also noted that women tend to care for aging parents more than men do. “It’s important to know what those challenges are and how to plan for them.”

No matter their stage in life, Leatherman said, women can always improve their financial status by keeping a close eye on their budget and setting smart financial goals.

Leatherman and Staley hope every CU employee will consider attending, regardless of their gender identity.

“Honestly, even though this is a seminar for women, I think it’s also beneficial for men to be a part of it as well,” Leatherman said, “especially if they’re helping someone like their mothers or their wives.”

Women’s workshops on other campuses

Staley is working with the other campuses’ credit union partners (Public Service Credit Union for CU Denver and CU Anschutz; Ent for UCCS) to bring this customized programming to more faculty and staff.


There also are several women’s workshops available to larger groups by request from TIAA-CREF, the university’s retirement plan service provider. Visit the Financials Seminar’s website to learn more.


Visit the Financial Wellness section of the Employee Services website for more resources

Employee Services offers plenty of online financial wellness resources, including a Personal Financial Checkup, guides for navigating Life Events and tips for establishing Healthy Financial Habits.