March 31, 2014

The Largest Emerging Market in the World

What you need to know about the “She-conomy”

It’s only appropriate that March, Women’s History Month, has become a time to not only appreciate past and present female pioneers, but to also look ahead at changes that women as a population are making in the economy. With developing markets maturing and more female access to education, women are becoming a major force in the global economy, changing work place culture as well as every other aspect of business and marketing.

An Intuit2020 report reveals that close to 1 billion women who previously did not participate in the world economy will do so by the year 2020. As developing economies mature, more and more women, and often women of various cultural and racial backgrounds, will have access to impact the economy on a global scale. New talent in the job force contributes to purchasing power, making women a powerful force in the market. In the United States, workingwomen generate $4.3 trillion in earned income annually and represent 50 percent of all workers. Additionally, American women represent the fastest cohort of wealth accumulators, owning 75 percent of the nation’s wealth. With this new, HUGE, market emerging in the United States, and across the planet, it is important to understand what it will mean to live and operate in the new “She-conomy” while acknowledging any shortcomings.

As a result of the Intuit2020 discoveries and other important research predictions, Western marketing and advertising companies are already learning to shift their approaches to focus on women. At the same time, some women have grown critical. A majority of advertising and marketing campaigns address the white, cisgendered, and straight woman. If marketing efforts are going to be successful, they have to address intersectionaity – the cultural and individual differences among the female population.

The importance of intersectionality is not just limited to advertisers. Inclusion for women of various cultural, sexual, and racial backgrounds is integral in executive roles at major businesses and organizations to provide a diverse understanding of key issues and offer new approaches.

One billion is a number that cannot be ignored in terms of spending and decision making power. It is also a number that cannot be boiled down to a few key sets of attitudes and beliefs that are then used to attempt to appeal to women as a market. If intersectionality isn’t addressed, important organizations, institutions and businesses are going to miss the majority of women in the world.

Helpful Resources:

“The Status of Women in the US Media 2014,” Women’s Media Center.

Frith, Katherine, and Kavita Karan. “Magazines and International Advertising.” The
Handbook of International Advertising Research (2014): 149.

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