On March 8, the world will be celebrating International Women’s Day with the historical, cultural, and political achievements of women. Organizations large and small will come together to show women just how valuable they are. And here at Smart Women’s Empowerment, we will be celebrating women’s empowerment all month long.
First celebrated in 1909 as a labor protest in New York against the poor working conditions, the movement quickly spread across the world. This is a day we recognize women for their achievements throughout history and across nations. It’s known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. This is a time to reflect on the progress we have made, to call for change, to recognize acts of courage, and to unlock our financial power.
I strongly believe that financial empowerment is every woman’s birthright. I’ve experienced extreme poverty and abuse as well as great wealth and freedom. My mission for the last four decades has been to help women create wealth, make a difference, and live a life they love. I know it’s possible when you have a guide and the right resources.
I created Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2003 after an experience I had when I was about to teach a workshop called Smart Women Finish Rich for the Federal Reserve’s Money Smart Week. At the time, I was running a very successful financial planning business focused on wealthy clients. I still remember walking up on that stage and looking out at my audience of over 150 women who were known as the “unbanked,” those who don’t have a bank account. I wondered how in the world I was going to reach these women!
What I did that moment changed my life forever. I shared my personal story. It was a story I had never told because I was embarrassed by it. I thought I’d be judged if people really knew my background. But telling my story was freeing. These women saw that I was once where they were. I told them, “If I can do it, you can do it, and today, I’m going to show you how. Please open your workbooks and let’s get started!”
At the end of the seminar, I collected the comment cards and dozens of women wanted to meet with me, but I had no way to help them. That was the moment I decided to create a program where I could help all women who wanted my help. That was the seed for Smart Women’s Empowerment. I retired from my financial planning business in 2007 and began Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008.
Empowerment really needs to start with our young women, and Women of Tomorrow is doing just that! This month as we celebrate women, I’ll be interviewing women who are not only empowered themselves, but they are leading the way to helping other women stand in their power.
I’ve invited three women who are leaders in the women’s empowerment movement, Executive Director of Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program, Jill Harris and President and Founder of Access One Consulting, Michelle Fanroy will share the impact mentoring plays in empowering young women. Researcher, advisor, and bestselling author, Dr. Arin Reeves will offer women a path to a successful and meaningful life, by helping women eliminate energy drains, manage what needs to be done, and bring more of what makes them happy into their lives. I promise these will be motivating and inspiring shows.
Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Income Coach, founder of the Midlife Millionaire® Solution, and the host Smart Women Talk with over a million subscribers. For over 30 years, Katana has shown women how to take charge of their life and finances and believes it’s never too early to plan for expected and unexpected events like retirement, encore careers, moving abroad, or preparing for long-term care. She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Business Women, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new retirement guide, Three Smart Strategies for a Midlife Millionaire® Lifestyle. visit www.katanaabbott.com