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Fem Finance Heating Up at Silicon Valley Gathering: Women Win Big with a New Model for Financial Fluency

Women have come a long way toward gender equality but new information reveals they still lag, in the home and in corporations, when it comes to finance management, predominantly the domain of men. Teresa Dentino, a long-time educator and advocate for women’s financial fluency is aiming at accelerating the process by bringing together thought leaders at an event this month aimed at starting a women’s financial awareness and education revolution.

Palo Alto, CA, May 12, 2014 --( It’s over 165 years since the suffragette movement began, 94 years since the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote, 72 years since Rosie the Riveter bared her muscular arm under the slogan "We Can Do It!" in a US government poster urging women to take over industrial jobs left unmanned by men fighting in World War II. Since then, women won equal opportunity for loans with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and now earn degrees and hold jobs as commonly as their male counterparts. Hollywood has given us Mr. Mom and Mrs. Doubtfire, and increasingly stronger, smarter and more beautiful heroines. So, we are done, right? Women have achieved equality, no? A recession, recent studies and slow-moving statistics reveal otherwise and Teresa Dentino is not surprised.

A veteran of Wall Street and a long-time educator of women on finance, Teresa Dentino knows well the challenges women face in handling finances and is seizing the moment to accelerate the women’s financial revolution by bringing together a hand-picked group of thought leaders at an event she is hosting later this month.

“For some 30 years I have worked directly with countless women, providing tools to make financial concepts and decision-making accessible. A recurring hurdle has been the traditional rhetoric that being a math whiz is requisite for success with finance, reinforced by women’s own internal dialogue. Instead, an emphasis on becoming aware and functional goes a long way to diffusing the damaging effects of the ‘I don’t do math’ think,” says Ms. Dentino.

CEO and Founder of The Financial 411, a consulting firm specializing in coaching women to live healthier and more engaged financial lives and advising companies in how to meet women’s financial needs from their point-of-view, Teresa Dentino’s approach goes beyond that of programs limited to supporting women in finance careers. She offers strategies for every woman to get on the path to greater financial literacy, regardless of her current knowledge.

“Women are challenged as a result of very little direct experience,” adds Dentino.

At the upcoming event, titled Women, Financial Savvy, and Success, The Women’s Financial Revolution Summit, to be held at Dinah’s Hotel in Palo Alto, CA, Ms. Dentino is assembling a group of women from various disciplines and backgrounds to contribute their unique perspectives in crafting a plan that will change the opportunities women have for learning to manage their finances, becoming equally fluent, entering the C-Suite and boards of corporations, and in general faring better in securing professional advancement opportunities.

“The stakes are high in all categories – whether for those seeking career advancement or for the woman who has a high probability of navigating widowhood or divorce, having never held the financial reins before. Even a minimum of exposure to financial thinking can minimize costly consequences or lost opportunities,” states Dentino from her offices in Woodside, CA.

Right now the numbers are dismal: within Fortune 500 companies 4% of CEO’s and 17% of board members are women. Often no more in charge at home than at the office, women were the primary gender to suffer Money Anxiety Disorder (MAD) during the recent recession, as they were often kept in the dark about family finances by spouses. Add this to a trend on the rise: at the start of the century about half of the nation’s top wealth holders were women, by 2020 women will own an estimated 75% of the nation’s wealth, and you can see the urgency for changing women’s financial literacy.

Taking aim at a wide-spread enablement of women, Dentino seeks to eradicate the premise that gender is a predictor of capacity and that women should continue to accept a lesser role in financial matters. In fact, studies show that women investors outperform men, citing better research, less risk taking and a greater capacity to ‘ride out the storm’ as contributing characteristics.

Dentino feels strongly that finance is the next frontier where women can gain equality traction: “There’s a high correlation between women reaching the C-Suite and board of directors and rising from an MBA or financial background. This is no coincidence. Finance is the language of the boardroom. There is no reason why women shouldn’t speak it.”

Join the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #FemFinRevolution or learn more by visiting The Financial 411.
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The Financial 411
Teresa Dentino
Twitter: @thefinancial411

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