“Womentum” Financial Planner Ana Scott, Momentum Financial Adviser, talks all things inspiration.
Momentum – or Womentum, as it’s proudly known during Women’s Month – is home to a permanent workforce that’s almost two-thirds women.
To celebrate and commemorate the impact of women, we sat down with Ana Scott, a Momentum Financial Planner, to talk about what inspires her in the workplace and in her daily life.
“Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities though, inspiration may sometimes be overlooked, because of its elusive nature,” explains the Harvard Business Review (in a 2011 article titled Why Inspiration Matters). “But, as recent research shows,” continues
the HBR, “inspiration can be activated, captured and manipulated to have a major effect on important life outcomes.”
It’s clear in the way that Ana lights up when she talks about the various women that have inspired her throughout her life, that this inspiration has had an indelible impact on her as a professional and as a woman.
Ana names a number of unafraid and selfless female icons as some of the many examples that have fuelled her. While acknowledging that it may sound cliché at first, Ana names revered Catholic nun and humanitarian, Mother Theresa, as the first on this list.
But for Ana, this answer is anything but a cliché – in fact, she refers often to Mother Theresa, when explaining her thinking today. For Ana, Mother Theresa represents the pinnacle of making a difference – firstly, making a difference is our reason for being and, secondly, it can be done by touching one life at a time. If you are not able to help a hundred people, the 10 that you can help is a great start. When the inspiration lands, it becomes a part of one’s DNA moving forward.
Rosa Parks, uncrippled by fear in a crucial moment, and the fearlessly original and authentic artist, Frida Kahlo– someone who “transformed pain into art” – are also on the list and point to a pattern. Women who speak up, speak out and speak freely.
Ana draws inspiration from courageous woman and in turn, she wields a sense of fearlessness in her professional world, one that is largely a male-dominated environment.
Rounding out her inspirational list is (perhaps most importantly) Ana’s mother, a nurse and a tenacious single parent who raised three children. Ana credits her mother’s thriftiness as the beginning of her views on money. In fact, watching her mother unfairly miss out on an important financial inheritance – due to an oversight in the paperwork and Ana’s mother’s focus on day-to- day, instead of estate planning – cemented her view that women need to stand on their own two feet financially.Ana deeply values economic independence in her personal finances.
“I never want to depend on anyone,” she adds. This is a belief system that Ana has instilled in her 22-year-old daughter from a young age, gifting her with an endowment policy on her fifth birthday. But unfortunately, these are values that are not often taught to women universally.
According to Momentum’s Science of Success Report (2018), conducted in partnership with Unisa, “In one way or another, women feel less empowered than men, seeing this feeling [of disempowerment] spill over to household money matters.”
Based on her expertise as a Financial Planner, Ana agrees that married women often leave long-term financial planning to the husband. In addition, due to gender bias that exists in society, women often have less firm financial foundations.
Ana believes that it is vital that women are encouraged and inspired to be financially knowledgeable and ultimately, financially independent. Women need to write their own success stories. In a country where gender- based violence is a terrifying reality, this shift can, in fact, save lives.
But, engaging with one’s finances can always change lives. Ana recounts a young lady, a client of hers, getting teary-eyed after an informative and empowering planning session.
You see, connection is important, to Ana – with stakeholders, her colleagues and of course, her clients. It is through this connection that, she believes, “we can make a difference and we can enable people on their journeys to success.”
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Momentum Investments is part of Momentum Metropolitan Life Limited, an authorised financial services (FSP6406) and registered credit (NCRCP173) provider.