Have you seen Abby Wambach’s commencement speech?
Abby Wambach was part of the legendary women’s US soccer team, winner of 2 World Cups, most recently in 2015. She’s won three gold medals and is the team’s all-time highest goal scorer. She’s the definition of a legendary player.
I encourage women to claim their financial power and Abby Wambach shares in her speech how she didn’t claim her financial power. She gives us some amazing lessons to learn.
This topic gets me super fired up, so much so that I actually wrote an article when the US women’s soccer team sued the US Soccer Federation for equal pay.
In Abby’s speech, she shares how she was selected for an ESPY award. Along with Kobe Bryant of the Lakers and Peyton Manning of the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, Wambach was nominated for the icon award. She shares that she was so grateful to be sharing the stage with these legends and household names.
But when she walked off the stage, later that night, she realized one of the key differences between her and the other two athletes.
She noticed that while Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning were set for life, she still had to work.
While they earned more money in their respective sports, they took advantage of corporate sponsorships, business opportunities and invested their money through their career.
Abby shares how she was just grateful to be on the team. She was grateful that the teams she was on was continued to win, and that she was excelling in her field. She was less focused on how much money she was making and how to make her money work for her.
In short, she was not claiming her financial power.
And as a retired soccer player, she has to continue to work. She’s not going to be able to just ride into the sunset and be able to coach without thinking about how much money she’s going to make. And that’s one of the key differences that I love that she talks about. She acknowledges the pay difference. She acknowledges the amount of money that she didn’t think about, that she didn’t focus on, that so often women do. She was doing something that she loved, and that was all that mattered at the time.
And while it is important to acknowledge that professional basketball and football players have higher salaries than those of soccer, Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning also leveraged sports sponsorships to make themselves a fortune. And what Abby says is, she was less focused on that. This is why I think it is so important to focus more on the conversation about money with women.
Another key point that Abby brings up is that women are often taught to be grateful. We’re told to be like “Little Red Riding Hood” – to keep our head down, to stay on the path and to get our job done. She retells the story of how when little Red Riding hood stepped off the path she encountered the wolf, who terrified her and forced her to return to the path.
She says now is the time for us women to be wolves.
This spoke to me, especially since my high school mascot is the wolf pack, so near and dear to my heart. Ladies, we need to be the wolves! And really what means is – we need to ask. But we need to understand the game to ask. That’s why I’m here to share what I learned about the game, working in finance for 15 years and navigating business scenarios.
She powerfully states in her speech, “Give me the f’in ball. Give me f’in job. Give me the same pay that the guy next to me gets. Give me the promotion. Give me the microphone. Give me the Oval Office. Give me the respect I've earned”.
Abby, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. For being an icon. You have the platform to share these important lessons for women and I’m here to share this with my audience.
I’m here to continue to bring up the conversation about money – how much you’re earning, how you can get the next promotion, how you can invest your money to make your money work for you. That is how you build wealth and create wealth in your own life.
Ladies, financial power equals power.
Men know this, and us women are catching on.
I want financial power to be a combination of feminine and masculine qualities. We need more women to bring those feminine aspects to the conversation about money.
Ladies, stand with me in this. We need to be the wolves. We need to continue to ask for and stand for ourselves. By standing together, we are united and stronger.
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