Women: Optimize Your Equity Compensation

Haana Frank

Associate Financial Planner

Summary

An analyst explains strategies for women to reinvest in the future, foster self-worth, and lay groundwork for wealth-building.

Woman presenting in front of screen

What is equity compensation? Technically, equity compensation is an employee perk providing an ownership stake within a company once internal vesting requirements are met.1 Beyond the more traditional form of compensation such as salary, equity compensation can include stock options, employee stock purchase plans, and restricted shares — all of which can eventually be converted to cash. Equity typically grows in value over time, fostering continued investment in the company to help grow wealth.

Equity compensation can also include myriad other ways we reinvest in ourselves. Building equity compensation within yourself is investing in a non-monetary way to help grow your personal value with knowledge, skills, or confidence. Foster self-worth by reinvesting in your future, career prospects, finances, and overall mental health.

Here are a few ways to help build and optimize your equity compensation and take advantage of available benefits. Create a strong foundation for higher earning potential while improving your state of mind and overall health.

 

1. Education.

Career-focused women in the traditional job market can boost earning potential by bolstering existing education with a graduate or postgraduate degree or earning a certificate or license in one’s field of focus. It may also take the form of nontraditional education such as taking community classes or conducting self-research with books or videos.

 

2. Mental Health.

You don’t have to have a mental illness to focus on your mental health. Prioritizing mental wellness can range from therapy and counseling to routine self-care. Because of the everyday bustle between careers, family, events, and friends, more and more women are focusing on self-care by putting themselves first.2

 

3. Mentorship.

Take advantage of a mentorship program within your company, an association related to your career, or a personal connection that can help you improve your skills or knowledge. A mentor should help you become the best version of yourself. The role of a mentor is not to be a therapist or coach, but rather a personal or professional guide to help improve your confidence. Your mentor could be a peer, a networking group, or someone you look up to personally or professionally.

 

4. Finances.

Going back to the “traditional” definition of equity compensation: invest in yourself financially. Set goals and work with a professional to help attain those goals, whether that be saving for retirement, buying a house, or saving for a self-care vacation. Tori Dunlap, author of Financial Feminist: Overcome the Patriarchy, makes a case for establishing a set time to have ‘money dates’ with your partner to openly and honestly discuss money.ᶾ Review your spending plan and ask yourself hard questions: is there something you could be doing differently?

If you have a partner or spouse, setting aside time for a money date is not only investing in your own understanding of your finances, but also in open communication in your relationship. Financial issues are one of the leading causes of divorce in our country. Women often suffer greater financial difficulty after a divorce than men, with 44% of women falling into poverty post-divorce.4

 

5. Celebrate yourself.

When you hit a goal, celebrate! You worked hard to achieve your goal, whether it was saving an extra $100 per month or buying your first house. You deserve to celebrate and enjoy those moments. Take time to reflect on yourself and the actions that helped you achieve that goal. Talk about it with the people you love so they can celebrate with you. Discuss it with other women and share your knowledge: we can all provide mutual support by building equity in one another.

Foster personal self-worth today and lay groundwork for higher compensation in your professional vocation tomorrow with these five simple steps.

1 Experian, “Investing: What Is Equity Compensation?” 2022.

2 Wordsrated, “Self-Help Books Statistics,” 2022.

3 Tori Dunlap, Financial Feminist: Overcome the Patriarchy, 2022.

4 American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators, “The Connection Between Money and Divorce: What Do the Statistics Say?” 2023

Mercer Advisors Inc. is the parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. and is not involved with investment services. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. (“Mercer Advisors”) is registered as an investment advisor with the SEC. The firm only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements.

All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change. Some of the research and ratings shown in this presentation come from third parties that are not affiliated with Mercer Advisors. The information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed or warranted by Mercer Advisors. Content, research, tools and stock or option symbols are for educational and illustrative purposes only and do not imply a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell a particular security or to engage in any particular investment strategy. For financial planning advice specific to your circumstances, talk to a qualified professional at Mercer Advisors.

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