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Of women, of money and of “SALT”

In the fascinating book, Invisible Women, Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, author Caroline Criado Perez presented a fascinating set of analyses on how products designed solely with the perspective of men, can sometimes completely miss the mark when it comes to solving problems for women. From wrong medicine dosage to higher accident fatality, these biased product designs could have various levels of impact.

Let’s come to the world of finance and of money. Traditionally, money is considered to be an ungendered product. We all need it. To earn, to spend and to save.

But was there an invisible women syndrome for Finance and Money too?

Enter SALT.

Three women founders, Shinjini Kumar, Chaitra Chidanand and Aditi Sholapurkar who had successful financial careers prior to the creation of SALT, realized that there is a gap in helping women with money and investment choices based on their real needs. SALT was born with that insight.

Why SALT you wonder? Well, the team has an interesting insight to that. Their belief was that women’s relationship with money is intuitive and often invisible. Just like salt.

Think of any old movie. In one of the critical scenes in the movie, the lady in the movie would open the safe at home with the keys tied to the edge of her saree. Women held the “tijori ki chabi” in the home as the SALT founders realized but as money moved out from the home locker to formal financial institutions and then from the physical forms of money to more digital versions, the question that remained – did women still have that tijori ki chabi?

SALT’s perspective is that women have an innate connection with money and that maybe it’s time to reclaim that. The focus is on reclaiming and not on empowering women to know more about money as we see a lot of the current narrative around women and money tilting towards.

This then starts right from understanding the needs and priorities of women when it comes to money. It could be prioritization of family finances. It could be to lead independent lives post retirement. It could be to unlock intergenerational wealth. With more women becoming financially and economically independent, in some cases, their financial needs could also stem from varying family situations which are still evolving as social structures keep changing.

Meanwhile, Morgan Housel, in his seminal book, Psychology of Money, spoke about the role of behaviour and our own personal choices when it comes to money. Some of us might fear investing in new asset classes. Some of us on the other hand might revel in the risk involved in everyday trading.

The key point here is that personal finance is deeply personal. And maybe it is time that our finance solutions meet our unique money needs as women.

What are your questions when it comes to managing money and investments?

The SALT founder Chaitra Chidanand will be there at SheSparks on March 3rd, in Delhi, to curate a very customized workshop for women around money.

Join us at SheSparks.

By the way did you know that salt had another connection with money? Ages back, the Roman army was sometimes paid with salt rather than money. Yes, salt was that precious. Their monthly allowance was called salarium and salt is the Latin word for salt.

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