SALT LAKE CITY — Next week will mark the state's inaugural effort to provide educational resources to women interested in learning about money matters in one place on one day.
Utah State Treasurer David Damschen, along with the Utah Financial Empowerment Coalition, will host the first "Women in the Money" Utah Financial Empowerment Conference at the Sheraton Salt Lake Hotel on Monday. The event was created "to empower Utah women to achieve financial security by providing access to crucial financial information, valuable resources, and new mentors and friends," according to the conference website.
Because women's role in family finances have changed and expanded over time, this conference is designed to meet the educational needs of anyone — no matter what gender — who wants to become more financially literate, said Susan Speirs, CEO of the Utah Association of CPAs and chairwoman of the Women Financial Empowerment Coalition board, the nonprofit organization responsible for organizing the event.
Women live longer than men and are more likely to outlive their assets, she said. Women are also more likely to teach their children about money and finances, as well as become caretakers for elderly or disabled loved ones helping to manage their finances. Increasingly, women are playing a greater role in the workforce and investment market, she added.
“Women fill many important roles in our state," Speirs said. "It is critical to equip them with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to make sound financial decisions for themselves and their families.”
She said the event will include 16 breakout sessions led by some of the state's top financial experts as well as a keynote address from Gail Miller, owner and chairwoman of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. The conference will also provide opportunities to make connections with other people facing some of the same challenges, she said.
"As women, we like to help each other out so hopefully (people) can make new acquaintances, new friendships and find new opportunities to give women the confidence they need to tackle the subject of financial awareness and financial well-being," she said.
Conference attendees will have the chance to find out how to improve their personal and family finances as well as maximize income, reduce debt and improve their credit, a news release states. Attendees can also learn how to start a business, save for retirement and develop a financial support network to build greater financial security for their future, explained Damschen.
Two-thirds of household breadwinners and co-breadwinners are women, and 89 percent of financial decisions are made by women, Damschen said. Because of some of the unique financial situations women face, he said there is a need for enhanced literacy education so that women have the information necessary to adequately handle the variety of financial situations that may arise in their lives.
"What we're aiming for is (creating) sound financial behaviors," he said. "Hopefully, we'll see people coming away with knowledge, insight and inspiration that can help them more effectively navigate the world we live in."
From a better understanding of banking, budgeting and investing to avoiding financial fraud along with the whole spectrum of financial decisions, participants can learn principles that will strengthen their families and the communities they live in, he said.Comment on this story
“As chair of the Utah Council on Financial and Economic Education, I am grateful for the opportunity to bring together some of Utah’s top financial leaders to share their knowledge and skills with Utah women,” Damschen said. “This is an excellent opportunity for women of all ages, cultures and financial situations to grow their financial capability together.”
Participants can attend the one-day conference for $25, which includes admission to every session of the event, along with breakfast and lunch. Scholarships are available for those in need. To inquire about available scholarships, contact the state treasurer's office by via email at email@example.com or call 801-538-1042.
For more information on the conference or to register for the event, visit womeninthemoney.org.