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Everyone has long suspected that the purse strings are held by women. How many times have we heard that its women that make 85% of the buying decisions in their households?
But the thing we are seeing emerge now is that women are not just the chief purchasing officers, they are also the earners – a reality that has enormous consequences across global economies.
The emergence of a global “She-conomy” will have a major impact on everything from education to marketing and branding to fertility levels. While it’s true that most women still earn less than men, are far less likely to be in the highest-salaried executive positions, there are numerous positive indicators on the horizon in the U.S.:
There are already many more women than men enrolled in and graduating from universities:
- Women account for more than half of college students and half the work force, which has delayed motherhood and marriage.
- For the first time, a majority of mothers, 54 percent, have a college education, up from 41 percent in 1990.
Women increasingly serve as household breadwinners and white-collar executives:
- Women are widely considered the most powerful and growing demographic with respect to global consumer power. In fact, about a third of women out-earn their husbands.
- Many women have suffered less than men in this recession. They were more likely to be in health care and other sectors/jobs that were not hit as hard as construction and manufacturing. They are also increasingly likely to have the education required. One in five men 25 to 54 is not working, and the jobs that many of these men once had will not return.
- Many indicators point toward women comprising a greater percentage of white-collar professional positions going forward, while men who have been displaced will need to find alternatives – perhaps through vocational training or entering trade professions.
What about the global economy?
- 1 billion additional middle class women are expected to enter it over the next decade. If China and India each represent 1 billion emerging participants in the global marketplace, then this “third billion” will be made up of women, in both developing and industrialized nations, whose economic lives have previously been stunted, under-leveraged, or suppressed.
- Globally, women total $13 trillion in yearly earnings and could reach $18 trillion in the next five years, representing a growth market twice as big as China and India combined.
What will this mean in the workplace?
- In the “she-conomies” that are emerging, communication and leadership styles that resonate with, inspire and include women will also be in greater demand. As will financial planning products and services.
- But it also means, we are on the precipice of a massive economic power shift!