Finance and Women
In a society full of gender stereotypes and misogyny, The New Savvy has pledged to break these societal norms as they strongly believe that women deserve financial independence as much as men. FLY: Malaysia sits down with Natalie Pringle to talk gender, finance, and women empowerment.
Natalie Pringle (L) and Anna Haotanto (R) of The New Savvy.
Natalie Pringle relocated to Hong Kong from London in 2015 to establish the International division of a rapidly expanding Real Estate company which perfectly combined her interests in property, investment, and developing new business opportunities. She is the Chief Marketing Officer and Hong Kong Chief Ambassador of The New Savvy.
Founded by Anna Vanessa Haotanto, The New Savvy is a financial literacy outfit that focuses on propagating financial advice and awareness amongst women, as they believe that women tend to have needs that differ from men’s. This stems from the notion that mainstream financial information generally uses complex terminology which is not particularly engaging, which in turn causes women to avoid reading these materials and results in a lack of financial literacy. Thus, The New Savvy presents simplified, easy and interesting ways for women to gain financial knowledge that is crucial for women to possess.
The catalyst for founding The New Savvy for Anna Haotanto was primarily due to her family’s financial situation, which caused her to take an interest in their finances and realise the importance of managing money in a smart way. During various volunteering tasks, she also noticed how many women suffered abuse and failed marriages as they lacked financial literacy and did not have a stable source of income, causing them to be dependent on others. This served as a great motivation for Anna to manage her finances wisely, and to help other women out there who needed this more than ever.
“Female financial literature is grossly underserved,” says Natalie. Women require a different delivery of financial information than men, as financial news or information tends to be very technical and does not resonate nor bring any emotional value to women. Women generally do not need a technical analysis; instead, they are interested in knowing how making the right financial choices can improve their lives. To drive the point home, according to The New Savvy, nearly 41% of women do not invest or manage their money effectively.
It is an ongoing process to make content relevant for women, given their inherent differences. More than just a financial blog, this blooming organisation works to create original and engaging content that is fun and relevant to readers. “There are several websites that are focused on content such as ‘How to make money?’ The New Savvy is about being passionate, while creating content and giving advice that is applicable to women.”
For Natalie, The New Savvy is a passion project and something she does on the side. She initially began her career in the field of real estate, being a law student. Joining a relatively small company, she was exposed to a vast range of decision-making processes which helped her grow and expand the business. Realising that she had achieved all her goals in her previous company, she decided to continue pursuing her passion for empowering women which in turn got her involved in The New Savvy. Her diverse work experience taught her a lot about business and how to empower women in their workplaces. Thus far, she has helped women expand their own knowledge within their businesses, follow their dreams, and encourage other women to help them succeed and become their best possible selves.
As there is still some way to go when ensuring gender equality, there are many challenges faced by women in the corporate world. “If one looks at the Tech and Finance industry, it has been a male-dominated environment over the years but that is definitely changing,” Natalie says. However, there are still challenges to be faced such as maintaining a healthy work-life balance, the working environment, and others. Nevertheless, there are now initiatives being made by and for women in the corporate world who are breaking these barriers. As compared to previously, they now receive more support and several organisations are even encouraging new initiatives. “The main thing is, we just need to not be afraid, because a lot of the time, it’s the fear of failure or what others think that can hold us back.”
When Natalie attended The Future is Female conference hosted by The New Savvy in Singapore in April 2017, it served as a turning point for her as she had never experienced anything like it before. Having lived in Hong Kong for over 3 years, she had come across several groups that were involved in the empowerment of women through networking and entrepreneurship, but none of them focused specifically on personal finance like The New Savvy did. Upon leaving the conference Natalie felt that is was something that Hong Kong women would also benefit from. “It was fantastic and I knew it was something that we really need.” That was the beginning of her journey with them, and she has never looked back since.
As the CMO of the New Savvy, she is focused on developing the content strategy and ensuring it is appealing to users, particularly their large female audience. Natalie also works with other divisions which they have launched across Asia, making sure their events are carried out smoothly. The New Savvy often partners with suitable companies or organizations to help convey their message and bring about awareness of the need for women to be empowered in the financial industry. Natalie and the women she works with represent precisely what The New Savvy is about and hopes to achieve: a hugely successful businesswoman in her own right, she also acts as a beacon of hope, showing women that they can in fact excel in the financial world.
The road ahead, however, is fraught with obstacles to their growth. For The New Savvy, consistently coming up with fresh, relevant, and engaging content for readers, all while their subscribers and database continue to grow remains their biggest challenge. They are constantly innovating, coming up with different events and conferences that will help increase recognition of their organisation and help them achieve their ultimate goal, which is to empower 100 million women with financial independence. Online, they write on multiple categories with 3 main areas of focus: Technical Articles addressing financial concepts, Lifestyle Pieces discussing issues related to finance or women empowerment, and Inspirational Stories of individuals who are managing to break barriers.
“The New Savvy offers free subscription with absolutely no charges for newsletters or other content. We provide such resources to our subscribers for free because we hope to educate women and empower them to be more financially savvy, and [we] believe that this cost-free way of spreading knowledge is the best way to do it.”
As once said by US ambassador and author Clare Boothe Luce, “A woman’s best protection is a little money of her own,” it is firmly believed that it is important for women to be independent in terms of finance and be able to access resources that will help them make well-informed decisions both personally and professionally as every woman should have the liberty to do so, and not sustain their lives in the hands of another individual. It is not about a woman being rich, it is about how a woman can smartly spend or invest her money and secure a future of her own – and with The New Savvy around, the future looks a little brighter already.