Ahead of the inaugural Women in Finance Summit 2023, Sofcorp Wealth founder and managing director Tracey Sofra said that despite being entrepreneurs, business owners, or leaders in the workforce, women continue to be the primary caretakers of their family.
“Women who run a business still typically have to run the household, look after their children, and do multiple things at once,” she told InvestorDaily.
“At the same time, they’ve got to be laser focused on their business, because that’s not a hobby for them. It’s a full-time job.”
Ms Sofra said that she continues to face these challenges despite being in her profession for over three decades.
To remove these barriers and balance the home with business, Ms Sofra pushed women to “lighten up and delegate” as many tasks as possible on the domestic front.
“You can’t do it all and you shouldn’t try and do it all,” she asserted.
“I don’t see any awards for being a hero on the home front. Don’t be a hero. No one sees it, no one values it, and it’s unpaid and unrecognised. Get a cleaner if you can or get takeaway food. Lighten the load and relax.”
Her comments came ahead of the Women in Finance Summit 2023, where she and a panel of speakers will unpack the challenges of balancing business and life, and strategies to overcome them while thriving in their businesses.
Workplace flexibility is a must
In the workplace, Ms Sofra said employers must offer flexibility to both women and men, depending on who the primary caregiver of the children is or who is running the household.
This could include allowing them to work from home on certain days if that could assist them with balancing their household and parental responsibilities.
“When employers do this, they’ll find that employees will give back. It’s reciprocal,” Ms Sofra said.
“Being a good human to others doesn’t mean they’ll take it for granted. Some employers may feel that employees are going to take advantage of the flexibility or won’t work as hard. But I don’t believe that will be the case.”
Money is power
Ms Sofra is also the founder and director of WOW Women Group, an online educational program to help women boost their financial capabilities and confidence.
She created the group to educate women about money and how to become financially independent, she said.
“Empowerment is multi-layered,” Ms Sofra explained.
“Empowerment could be in the workplace, in women’s personal lives, or the way they make decisions and run their lives. But I believe that we must resolve the money piece first and enable women to take their power back with their money.
“Money is power, make no mistake about that. You can’t make decisions if you don’t control the money. Somebody else makes those decisions for you. But if we reclaim our financial independence and be in control of our own money, we claim that power back. I believe the empowerment of every other part of our lives will flow on from there.”
One representation, one community
When asked how women could build networks, Ms Sofra said the industry needs one body representing all women in finance to create a community that supports other women.
“We need one representation because we’re all part of the same ecosystem,” she said.
“We need three or four women to create and drive one body representing all women in financial services. I believe we need a strong leader at the helm to build memberships and get people on board.”
You are the company you keep
As for how other women could thrive as leaders, Ms Sofra encouraged them to invest in personal growth by “unlearning” old ways of thinking, learning new skills, understanding different schools of thought, challenging their thinking, and looking to the future.
She concluded: “Finally, if the people around you are not supporting your decisions, change the company you keep.
“I’ve experienced this where people haven’t understood my perspective. I’ve felt mocked, belittled, and ridiculed at times. But I’ve walked away. There are no guarantees about the future but that’s okay. If you believe that this is what you’re destined to do, you’ll be unstoppable.”
To hear more from Tracey Sofra about how she balances her family and home life with her business and strategies for overcoming hurdles and building networks, come along to the first-ever Women in Finance Summit 2023.
It will be held on Friday, 10 November 2023 at The Star, Sydney.
Click here to book tickets and don’t miss out!