This Montreal financial analyst is helping women get savvier about money

Financial analyst Anjali Pradhan said she's noticed women are more reluctant than men to invest their money. She's offering free courses to help close that gap.

A Montreal woman is working to close the gender gap when it comes to personal finances.

Mahaua Chowdhury is a junior engineer and said that when she got her first good job, she found herself completely unsure how to manage her money.

“I knew absolutely nothing about personal finance,” she said.

It’s not an uncommon problem. Financial analyst Anjali Pradhan said she’s heard much of the same from other women and that women are less likely to invest their savings in the stock market.

“Men and women don’t have different levels of financial literacy when tested, it’s just that men don’t let that stop them from starting,” she said. “Women are more cautious, we like understanding what we’re getting into, which is generally a good thing. But when it comes to investing, it stops us from even taking the first steps. We feel so overwhelmed with the plethora of information out there and the potential to… die penniless.”

Pradhan came up with a plan to empower women to take control of their money and now offers courses in financial literacy.

“I’ve really taken things and turned them on their ear and said, ‘Okay, let me build a course that really corresponds to the way women learn,’” she said.

Chowdhury is among the women who have signed up for a free course. Now, she’s saving to buy a house and said she no longer worries about making her money last until old age.

“It really empowers me because I come from a low-income family and had to work my way up,” she said. “A lot of people get the perception that markets are for very wealthy people or people from wealthy families. I’m someone who started from zero, I now have the knowledge to use my money and grow my money.”