The History of Women and Credit Cards

Bankrate is a trusted provider of accurate rates and financial information with news and reviews published daily among multiple financial topics. In this article, Erica Sandburg, Bankrate Credit and Money Management Expert Contributor, takes a look at credit cards, a modern product that has not always been accessible to women, consulting Humphreys Group president Diane Bourdo in the process.

Sandburg presents a timeline of credit card history and how it relates to women’s rights and access to credit cards and general finances. This timeline includes the following dates and events:

1848: The Married Women’s Property Act
1862: California Banking Law and the Homestead Act
1919: First Women’s Bank of Tennessee opened
1938: The Fair Labor Standards Act
1958: The first credit card was introduced
1974: The Fair Credit Opportunity Act
2012: The Credit CARD Act amendment for stay-at-home parents
2020: First female CEO of a major bank
Today: More women take the credit lead

The article introduces Diane Bourdo as Humphreys Group president “who also mentors female undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing careers in finance,” and presents her comments on this timeline: “The biggest surprise for me is that not all women had access to credit until 2012. It was not until then that [a woman’s] share of the household income could be used to prove she could pay off credit cards.” Diane provides this insight on one of the final events in the timeline, the “Credit CARD Act amendment for stay-at-home parents” of 2012, revealing this recent progress in the history of women and credit.

The Humphreys Group is a women-owned and women-operated wealth management firm based in San Francisco, California. The firm offers highly focused financial planning and disciplined asset management to a range of clients. Their expertise is helping women in transition navigate their particular challenges — such transitions as marriage, divorce, widowhood, inheritance, or that first stock option grant. Their passion is helping their clients take control of their own financial lives and get smart about money.

Diane Bourdo, CFP®
Diane Bourdo, CFP®

Diane Bourdo is the President of The Humphreys Group. Diane has dedicated her life’s work to helping women make smart financial decisions. For nearly 30 years, she has developed investment management and financial planning strategies that allow her clients to create lives that reflect their values. Diane was named an InvestmentNews 2020 Women to Watch and has been recognized in Forbes, SF Chronicle, NY Times and more for her work and writing.

Diane Bourdo, CFP®
Diane Bourdo, CFP®

Diane Bourdo is the President of The Humphreys Group. Diane has dedicated her life’s work to helping women make smart financial decisions. For nearly 30 years, she has developed investment management and financial planning strategies that allow her clients to create lives that reflect their values. Diane was named an InvestmentNews 2020 Women to Watch and has been recognized in Forbes, SF Chronicle, NY Times and more for her work and writing.

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