How guys can support the women in their lives

There are many things guys can do for women. (rawpixel.com pic)

Women tend to be both overworked and underpaid. Women, in general, earn less than men, retire or stop working earlier than men, and have a longer retirement period to worry about due to longer life expectancy.

Here are four things guys can do for the women in their lives.

1. Talk to her about investing

Would it surprise you to know that women are better investors than men? Studies have repeatedly shown that women’s tendency to take less risks is the better investment approach.

How it helps you:

The next time you hear about an investment opportunity, discuss it with the women in your life. They might have insights that you won’t get from your male friends, and it may help you avoid losing money.

For the woman, it’s nice to be able to talk about investing as they always feel like they don’t belong in financial matters.

Many top management posts are held by men, and women lack good female mentors and role models. So do include them your investing conversations.

Women downplay their abilities a lot as they are taught to be modest and take a back seat while men take care of the heavy duty stuff.

Pitch in and help her with the chores. (rawpixel.com pic)

2. Take charge of some chores

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. In a typical household, women spend much more time doing the housework, taking care of children and caring for the elderly.

The more a woman does this, the less time she has to work, earn extra income, spend time for self-improvement or go to networking events. Thus the less likely she is to be promoted and the more likely she is to be stuck in her economic position.

Men do chores, of course. However, men tend to need constant reminding. It is simply faster for women to do it themselves.

How it helps you:

It doesn’t, at least not in a tangible way, but doing this will make you a better, more caring person to your loved ones. This means you will be giving up a few hours in a week to do those chores instead of her. You need to notice things that need doing and do them.

3. Do some positive discrimination

Positive discrimination is a term that simply means ‘temporarily favouring one group over another while taking action to improve the situation for the better’.

Easiest example – women-only coaches. Sexual harassment in public places can be enough deterrent for women not to go to work.

If the woman decides to stop working, her income will be gone. If the woman decides to try another method of transportation, it might be more expensive or take more time.

How it helps you:

Benefits range from karma points to higher profits in a company to a safer society. If you’re in a hiring position, ensure women make up 50% of the management posts.

A study says that companies with gender-diverse boards earn more. If the list of names considered for promotion are mostly male, add in competent female colleagues as options too.

Be ready to roll with the punches for supporting your woman. (rawpixel.com pic)

4. Take the punches as they come

Men who actively support the women in their lives get some nasty nicknames like “whipped by wife/girlfriend or domesticated’.

Comments, snide remarks, snickers, even a blatant “you’re not a man if you do X, that’s her job”. Gender stereotypes don’t go away overnight, but the good thing is every act of personal activism counts.

How it helps you:

People who react negatively to your positive acts for women do so because they feel defensive. To them, things should work a certain way, so their beliefs and values are being challenged.

The comments may come from men or women too. It’s not your job to change them. Just lead by example.

This article first appeared in Ringgit Oh Ringgit

Suraya is a corporate writer-for-hire and the blogger behind personal finance website Ringgit Oh Ringgit. She is more of a minimalist, less of a consumerist, a konon DIY enthusiast, a let’s-support-small-businesses-over-big-corporations kinda girl. Prior to her current role, she worked in various capacities within the non-profit industry.