Webinar to focus on women’s financial literacy

Industry expert to lead women’s financial literacy webinar on June 4

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center is partnering with an industry expert for a special financial literacy webinar geared toward women.

Erin Weber is a financial adviser at Hefren-Tillotson and also president of the Penn State New Kensington Advisory Board. She will copresent the no-cost webinar at noon on June 4 via Zoom, alongside Lauren Shaw, financial literacy and life skills associate at the Sokolov-Miller Family Center. Click here for the link.

Weber said it’s a personal mission of hers to teach financial literacy to women. In addition to her professional, in-office work she also teaches financial literacy seminars at the Center for Women in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

Weber hopes to reach people earlier with basic financial literacy advice, and make sure her audiences understand the terms, instead of bombarding them with industry jargon. She said this simple lack of understanding of jargon drives the poor pass rate on basic financial exams.

“We know that insufficient levels of financial literacy among women will likely impede their ability to accumulate and manage assets, and secure a promising financial future,” Weber wrote in a blog post. “The basic problem is they don’t know what they don’t know until they don’t know it.”

Weber said she wants young people to appreciate one thing above all: Planning for retirement is an absolute necessity.

“With college students, they have time on their side,” she said during an interview. “The sooner that they can invest the better off they’re going to be.”

The webinar — cohosted with Shaw — will cover the basics of stocks, bonds, money markets, mutual funds, various retirement plans, saving for education and more.

Shaw said these basics can help women realize their dreams, and that it was important to recognize there are nuances to financial planning for women.

“From balancing daily expenses and long-term goals, to negotiating to close the gender pay gap, learning financial literacy principles is the step that you can take today to help close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in five years,” she said.

Weber and Shaw said all topics will be relatable to the specific struggles of women. For example, on average women live 5 to 7 years longer than men, while at the same time often make less money than men in similar career positions. Weber said it was imperative that women — who often make sacrifices on behalf of the family — take control of their own finances and lives in order to live life the way they want.

Daad Rizk, executive director of the Sokolov-Miller Family Center, said “I am very pleased to see the University Park and New Kensington campuses coming together to offer this webinar and provide practical solutions for women’s issues in financial literacy. I look forward to paving the road for more collaborative work in financial literacy among all Penn State campuses.”

The Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center offers services to the entire Penn State community and is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at undergrad.psu.edu. Sign up for the Undergraduate Education Headlines for the latest news.