Btchcoin News is disrupting gender stereotypes one news story at a time with a weekly newsletter summarizing the latest Canadian financial trends in an accessible way. Each week, subscribers get a rundown of the most recent headlines hitting the Canadian market, helpful tips for managing personal finances and #MoneyCrushMondays profiling inspiring women in the world of finance and business. It’s a fun and informative way to stay on top of economic news. Since October 2018, I’ve had the pleasure of writing for Btchcoin and joining a community of young women working to improve financial literacy for our peers across the country.
I interviewed Btchcoin founder, Claire Robbins, to learn more about what inspired her to create a platform for women’s financial independence in Canada. Claire is a young humanitarian aid worker currently based in Amman, Jordan. She recently completed a Master of Global Affairs (MGA) at the University of Toronto – Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy where she was President of the MGA Student Association. Claire has also worked in the Office of the CEO of a major bank and in various roles within the Canadian government.
Btchoin News has a unique mix of news summaries, personal finance tips and women to watch in the financial sector. What gave you the idea to start an economic news platform like this for Canadian women?
I specialized in capital markets during my master’s degree and working for a bank when I got an email providing me with the option to fix or float the rate for my student loan. I realized that, despite my education and professional experience, I didn’t feel confident in my financial decisions at all and I knew dozens of other ambitious and successful young women who felt the same. I’ve always read traditional financial news like The Financial Post and The Economist, but the majority of their writers are older men, and young people just aren’t relating to or consuming that type of news anymore. I knew there was space for innovation in Canadian news. I knew, and was part of, a demographic hungry for straightforward and relatable financial information.
Why do you think that it’s important for young women to be knowledgeable on economic issues and personal finance?
Young Canadian women are more educated than ever and we’re making (slow) progress on narrowing the gender wage gap. Women are also beginning to take on more and more financial decision-making within their households. Despite this, the upper echelons of executive and corporate boards don’t reflect the talent and human capital women bring to the table and are particularly discriminatory to young women who aren’t white, cisgender, or come from lower-income backgrounds (among several other factors). It sucks, but since women know they’re at a disadvantage, they’re eager to read more, learn more, and work harder to improve their knowledge about finance and economics to get ahead.
In addition, I think it’s important to note that, despite the #MeToo movement and a growing acknowledgement that minorities face elevated rates of discrimination in the workplace, women are still aware of how vulnerable their financial security can be. I know dozens of women who have lost their jobs or been forced to quit due to sexual harassment or discrimination. I think that’s still a taboo topic a lot of employers aren’t willing to admit. Women and minorities instinctively know how tenuous employment can be and see strong personal finance skills as a layer of insurance against a system that often fails to protect them.
The newsletter has grown a lot in less than a year. You now have subscribers from across the country and even outside Canada. What has been the biggest highlight for you since starting this initiative?
That’s hard to say! We’ve had big milestones, like winning a grant from the Laidlaw Foundation to interview key economic players in the upcoming federal election and hitting big milestones in subscribership.
But I have to say, building a team of contributors has been the best experience so far! It’s so so rewarding to be approached by women, whom I wouldn’t have met otherwise, who wants to write for Btchcoin.
A lot of women who have become key contributors initially reached out saying things like “I’m not an amazing writer” or “I really don’t know much about finance” and have absolutely blown me away with their writing skills and their unique takes on economic events. I get so excited when contributors tell me they’ve talked about Btchcoin in job interviews or their experience has inspired them to apply to opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise considered themselves qualified for.
What advice would you give to other young women who are finding it difficult to navigate financial spaces? Other than subscribe to Btchoin News, of course!
Ask questions. A lot of questions. Even if you think they might be dumb.
Everyone has to start somewhere, but I know it can be a bit intimidating. I would highly recommend going into your local bank branch and setting up a free appointment to chat with an advisor about your financial goals. Take lots of notes and don’t feel pressured to agree to anything on the spot.
In terms of financial and economic knowledge, I highly recommend setting aside a little bit of time each week to read. Whether its Btchcoin or something more traditional, take time to learn – and be patient. Most traditional financial news outlets assume readers have some background knowledge on the topics they’re discussing, but that’s not always the case. It’s okay to spend more time Googling financial definitions than it takes to actually read an article. Learning takes time!
Don’t miss out! Get the latest economic news in your inbox every Monday by subscribing to Btchcoin’s weekly newsletter at https://btchcoin.com/. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @btchcoinnews.