Tori Dunlap is a successful investor and founder of Her First $100K, which advocates for equality across all genders and races in one of the financial sector. We talked to her about the critical intersection of finances and feminism.
Founder, Her First $100K
What is “financial feminism”?
Financial Feminism is the advocacy for equality across all genders and races in the financial industry. I like to describe a Financial Feminist as someone who embraces the power they already possess in order to help themselves — and those around them — reach financial equality.
Among other things, this inequality shows up in the “don’t talk about money, it’s taboo” narrative. Telling people not to talk about their salary, their finances, and other money topics is a shaming tactic used to keep women and other minority groups underpaid, under-resourced, and overworked.
How does gender relate to debt and savings in the United States?
Statistically, women hold the majority of student loan debt in the United States. Add on to that the wage gap (women make 82 cents to their male counterparts and even less if they’re women of color), which directly influences the investing gap.
The investing gap shows that women lose out on almost a million dollars over the course of their lifetimes by waiting too long to start investing. Most women say that the reason they wait is fear and lack of education.
How has the pandemic affected women, especially in regard to finances?
Women have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic, specifically because women make up a large part of the service industry –– hotels, restaurants, retail, etc. These industries were the first to shut down and sometimes the last to be able to fully open again.
Then you add on the fact that many women left their jobs to take care of children who suddenly didn’t have a classroom to go to every day, leading to gaps in employment and difficulty finding a job that pays well enough to cover the cost of childcare.
Courtesy of Sarah Wolfe
In the United States, women are more likely than men to evaluate themselves as financially illiterate, why?
Running Her First $100K, I hear every story you can imagine, the one I hear the most is the total lack of conversation around money. That and trauma around money, which leads to its own problems down the line. That’s why Financial Feminism is so important. It’s creating access for women who have been sidelined in financial conversations.
What services or resources are available to women who feel overburdened and overwhelmed with debt, or who do not know how or when to begin saving money?
Fortunately, there are so many amazing money creators offering financial advice in an easily digestible and highly actionable way. At Her First $100K, we have hundreds of hours of free content both on Instagram and TikTok, as well as several free products and courses on topics ranging from negotiating higher pay to curbing emotional spending. We’re releasing a course on Debt Payoff in 2022 and have several other paid courses around beginner finances, negotiation, and starting a business.
I think finding a community like ours is a great first step for many women. You’re so much more likely to actually change your life if you know you have support and high-quality education.