Smith College
    Laurie Fenlason
    Media Relations Director
    T (413) 585-2190
    F (413) 585-2174
Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063
www.smith.edu/newsoffice

...............................................................................................................................................................

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 decisions.


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 will follow.

In addition to Steinem, participants in the discussion will be:

Judy Milestone, senior vice-president for network booking at CNN and a 1966 Smith graduate;

Phoebe Haddon, 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;

Ann Kaplan, 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.

 

-30-

..............................................................................................................................................................

News Release Directory // News Office Home Page // Smith College Home Page

© 2001 Smith College // Please send comments to:
webmaster@smith.edu.
Page maintained by the Office of College Relations.