Income Equality and the Fourth Wave of Feminism

Cindy Couyoumjian is not waiting 139 years for women to reach income equality. She says the time is now to use “your God-given gifts with men and get your power and agency back in the world because money is power and power is change.” Cindy has worked in the financial industry for over 36 years, has achieved seven securities registrations, founded Cinergy Financial and invented a multifaceted investment method called REALM to maximize gain and minimize risk when she saw the old 60/40 stock/bond model fail to benefit the people who used it. She has also written two books, Redefining Financial Literacy: Unlocking the Hidden Forces of Your Financial Future, and the newly released book, The Rise of Women and Wealth: Our Fight for Freedom, Equality, and Control of Our Financial Future. She says that she wrote The Rise of Women and Wealth to help women gain confidence to take control of their money.

Even though women own about 51% of the wealth today, many still turn over control to their husbands. Cindy says the tide is shifting. When she started her business, only one in five women were financial advisers, and wives completely depended on their spouses to control the money. A few years later about a third of her female clients wanted to be included in the decision making, and now it’s grown to about two-thirds, with many leaving their husbands at home. However, she says that we still have a long way to go, especially given the assets women now control and are predicted to control in another 10 years.

The Rise of Women and Wealth

Cindy wrote The Rise of Women and Wealth to “inspire women to have a better life, financial freedom, to stand on your own two feet, and collaborate with your husband or do it yourself.” Her second reason was to help women overcome psychological barriers to managing money. She believes if women know the history of why they feel insecure about it, they will step up and take control. In the first part of her new book, she tracks the growth of the patriarchy – beginning with the demise of hunting-gathering cultures and the advent of agriculture – when women were made to feel inferior and began to believe they weren’t “smart enough” to understand how to manage wealth. Land was passed down from father to son and women were completely left out of generational wealth.

She explains that women’s fear of handling money comes from not knowing. Even professional women tell her that they aren’t “smart enough.” With financial literacy, women can overcome their biggest obstacle and accept the responsibility that Cindy says they must assume today because they are living longer and need to provide for their senior years. They are also more educated, make more money and actually have wealth that they can use as a tool for their families and communities. She believes that the opportunity to create generational wealth will motivate women to get engaged because mothers want to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren.

The Financial Revolution-The Fourth Wave of Feminism

Part of Cindy’s method to build confidence in women so they can control their wealth is to tell the stories of the women on whose shoulders we stand. After sharing the facts about the courageous women through the first three stages of feminism, she thinks the fourth wave started around 2012, when “someone came out and declared it women empowerment.” But she found no empowerment with her degree and career as a female financial planner in a nearly all male industry. She says that she wanted to dig deeper and that’s when she discovered how much wealth women actually had available for investing and the trillions they were destined to have. This lit new fire under her purpose to help women step into their financial destiny. She says that she believes we’re coming full circle with women ascending back into equally shared power with men.

Listen to or watch this conversation for more of Cindy’s story and her perspectives on how women can reach income equality. Check out her website:, and buy and read her books Redefining Financial Literacy: Unlocking the Hidden Forces of Your Financial Future, and The Rise of Women and Wealth: Our Fight for Freedom, Equality, and Control of Our Financial Future to increase your own financial literacy and revise your own relationship with wealth and how you can use it to create change.

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