United Church of Christ

Commentary: Strategies for women's inclusion in church finance decision-making

It's official! There are more ordained clergywomen than men (51%) in the United Church of Christ. So in this day and age it makes sense to examine how women can strengthen their financial acumen in order to serve.

While perhaps it's not surprising that this audacious denomination welcomes a majority of female clergy, it is still true that women face a gender pay gap. In addition, women pay more for the debt they carry than men, and they don't avail themselves of investment opportunities as often as men do.

There are strategies that women can employ to amplify their voice in financial decisions. For example, there are responsible investment efforts seeking to lend to women (as opposed to men) in the developing world – because it ends up being a safer investment! There are also investment efforts to increase the number of women on boards of corporations, because they are more sustainable investments as well. When we look at this in the microcosm of a church, it's reasonable to believe that giving women tools to be qualified to sit on church endowment committees will also yield positive long-term results.

The Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization Team (MESA) of the United Church of Christ and United Church Funds (UCF) want to assist our female clergy by sharing ways they can maximize their financial opportunities. A first step - join our webinar conversation on Women and Investing, on Tuesday May 22. Stacey Pettice, an Executive in Business Development at UCF, and I want to talk about how women are influencing the investment strategies of their church's endowments, the fundamentals for being an effective fiduciary, and the responsible investment efforts that seek to elevate women through financial means. Register today via this link.

Katie McCloskey is the Director for Social Responsibility, United Church Funds


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