Jenn Uhen’s, Pledgettes Founder, Reflections of the Past and Desires for the Future

Today is Women’s Equality Day. A day that was chosen to celebrate the passing of the 19th Amendment, or Women’s Right to Vote. This is also The Pledgettes’ anniversary (a very intentional choice).

Women’s Equality is the best book still being written. We have had some great chapters, some big drama, some imperfections and mistakes, and a whole slew of characters. However, we need to acknowledge that women are not yet equal. The book is not yet done. And you are a character in this book. Whether it’s at your family level or a global level.

Celebrating the Past: Progress over Perfection

Looking back the history of this movement inspires me daily as a present-day character in this book.

Since real estate investments are a part of my wealth-building journey, I love learning about the early homesteaders and that in the 1862 Homestead Act women could be property owners.

But there are also gaps in this history where we now need to re-focus our present-day story.

A woman’s right to vote is vital in the progress towards equality. And the Suffragettes who fought for this right in 1920 were beautiful, wonderful, imperfect humans. They left out women of color in this movement.

It wasn’t until the Civil Rights Movement that Black women were afforded the same rights as their white peers.

We have the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title IX in 1972, and inclusion in the Civil Rights.

Until the 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act, women needed a co-signor to take on credit or debt. Whoa. If the 1800s and 1920 seemed forever ago, we can’t say the same for 1974!

We have continued legislations towards gender equality with the 1994 Family and Medical Leave Act, 2009’s Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and 2021’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act in Colorado.

Legislation is one thing but it’s truly all about the people. It’s about the people (women and allies) that advocated and fought for this legislation. It’s all the individual women who utilized this legislation for equality.

More personally, it’s the women who were the first’s and the only’s. Here are some first CEO milestones for women in CNN money and Woman’s Day called out a few recent things where women weren’t allowed.

Okay, now look in your family. There was a woman who was the first in your family to go to college, open a bank account, be a working mom, and more. Go back in your family history and have these money conversations to celebrate the women in your family.

Living in the Present

This is something I don’t excel at (haha); I have more fun looking into the future and planning. There are women and allies doing amazing things to gender equality today. Again, whether it’s in your family, community, or globally. And YOU are one of those amazing women doing amazing things.

Every confident money move you make, every money conversations you participate in, and every piece of financial literacy you acquire; you are contributing to the progress towards women’s equality. We know that women hold more wealth, they build healthier and wealthier communities. Everything you do in your personal financial journey is for your wealth, your community, and generations coming after you. When you advocate for a raise, own a business, celebrate other women; it has a ripple effect for all women.

The Pledgettes is my place to live in the present. To be a part of incredible women on their personal finance journey. Through our community, fellow Pledgettes have achieved amazing goals, like:

  • lead healthier, more productive money conversations with their partners, families, friends, and colleagues
  • quit their job, move in with family (saving $18K/year) to launch two businesses
  • purchase and sell real estate
  • negotiate debt pay-offs and pay off that debt
  • have enough money in their emergency fund to pay for emergency vet bills
  • advocate for a six-figure salary, learn that it wasn’t a values-aligned career path, quit, be a solopreneur, learn that wasn’t the right path, and join a new company in a dream position
  • start a donation giving circle

These are chapters in the personal financial journey of our members. This is awesome and there is more good to come!

Creating the Future

To get super sappy, it’s like the lyric in Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield, “the rest is still unwritten.”

What are the chapters, and who are the characters, we’ll be celebrating on Women’s Equality Day in 2030, 2040, 2100?

What is the legislation that will be passed for more progress?

Who are the first’s and the only’s that will lead the way?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RIP) is called “one of only a few women” to have serve on the Supreme Court and one of my favorite quotes from here is there will be enough women on the supreme court, “when there are nine.”

Have those big visions and goals for the future. Take an active role in your finances for you, your community, and the global. Let’s dream together, let’s work together, and let’s be characters in this incredible story of women’s equality.

Want to work with me on this? Send me a message, let’s do this!

Jenn Uhen
Founder, Community Organizer of The Pledgettes

The Pledgettes is a personal finance community for women taking an active role in their finances.