Engaging Women in Finance: Shocking Research and How to Close the Gap with Dr. Mara Harvey [Ep35]

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

Welcome to episode 35 of The Innovating Advice Show. 

I’m joined by Dr. Mara Catherine Harvey whose day job is as a senior manager at UBS Switzerland AG. She is also an international speaker, financial literacy expert and author of a wonderful book series called A Smart Way to Start which teaches kids the basics of money and finance and helps to empower young girls.

In this episode, we discuss the shocking results of research that Mara has done around various financial risks that women face throughout their life and what financial services professionals can do to help reduce these risks.

We also discuss Mara’s financial literacy work, her book series and why it’s so important to counter the messages that young girls and women receive from the media and even how financial services messaging can be harmful.


Guest Bio

Dr. Mara Catherine Harvey is passionately driven by two strong beliefs: that we cannot wait another 100+ years to see economic gender equality come to life, and that daily financial decisions are the most untapped source of positive social change.

Alongside her “side job” as an author, she is a Regional Vice Chairwoman WM at UBS Switzerland AG and has been with the bank for over 19 years. She speaks four languages (English, Italian, French and German) fluently and has held various positions in Switzerland and in Germany in wealth management.

Mara’s background is in economics and she holds a doctorate with highest honours in Political Economy from Fribourg University, and a degree in economic policy and econometrics.

She is an active advocate for female economic empowerment and equality, as well as multilingualism and integration, and is a frequent speaker at international conferences.

Mara lives in the beautiful city of Zurich, Switzerland, with her two children Timothy and Tyler.


00:50 – Introducing Dr. Mara Catherine Harvey

02:40 – Women and risk

03:20 – How money messages are gender-biased

04:30 – The long-term implications of the gender pay gap

06:10 – Factoring in other elements that impact women differently than men

08:05 – What the financial industry can do to help

10:10 – How the younger generation is engaging with making financial decisions

11:50 – Why inheriting twice may be a risk for women

12:30 – How millennial men and women have been affected differently by the financial crisis

14:40 – The impact of technology in building trust

16:10 – Disrupting the financial market space

16:40 – Don’t assume: ask your clients

19:35 – Why financial education should start at a very young age

23:50 – The book series: A Smart Way to Start

30:05 – The importance of sustainability

32:20 – The steps we can take to true equality

34:20 – Some of the key challenges that still exist for women in the workplace