October 17, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
URGING WOMEN AND GIRLS TO
GET SMART ABOUT MONEY
Oct. 26 "Power Panel"
of Accomplished Smith Alums-Including Gloria Steinem-to Underscore
the Importance of Financial Education for Women
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-Marking the launch
of its first year of programming, Smith College's Women and Financial
Independence program has lined up a "power panel" of
women leaders to make the case for financial education for girls
and young women.
Five accomplished Smith alumnae, including writer, editor and
Ms. Magazine founder Gloria Steinem, will share with current
students things they wished they had known about money and finance
when starting out, their perceptions of how financial literacy
(or illiteracy) can shape a woman's career, and the importance
of financial savvy regardless of one's life goals.
"Whether you're a museum curator, a CEO or a stay-at-home
mother, you need to understand and take charge of your financial
life," explains economist Mahnaz Mahdavi, who directs the
Smith program. "Financial matters are not something to
be left to someone else."
Moreover, Mahdavi points out, the financial well-being of families
is increasingly dependent on the financial knowledge of women.
Studies have shown that women today make 80 percent of consumer
The "power panel" event, which is free, open to the
public and wheelchair accessible, will take place from 4
5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, in Wright Hall Auditorium. A reception
In addition to Steinem, participants
in the discussion will be:
senior vice-president for network booking at CNN and a 1966 Smith
professor of law at Temple University and a 1972 Smith graduate;
Katrina Gardner, a 2000 Smith graduate currently serving as
a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal;
a 1967 Smith graduate and head of the municipal bond department
at Goldman, Sachs & Co. One of the first women to be named
a partner at that firm, Kaplan, in conjunction with Goldman,
Sachs & Co., provided $2.5 million in seed money to launch
Smith's financial education program, believed to be the first
in the nation aimed specifically at undergraduate women.
Established earlier this year, "Women
and Financial Independence: The Smith College Program in Financial
Education" sponsors an array of noncredit, evening and lunchtime
mini-courses and invited lectures on topics including investing
and tax planning, loan and credit card debt management, compensation
and salary negotiation, philanthropy, investor responsibility,
entrepreneurship and retirement planning. The courses are taught
by experts from inside and outside the academy, have no prerequisites
and emphasize quantitative competence and financial literacy
as essential life skills.
More than 300 Smith students are currently participating in the
first two financial education courses, "Financing Life"
and "Interpreting Financial News."
More information about the program is available at http://www.smith.edu/wfi.
Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation's best
liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state
and 50 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women's
college in the United States.