Women, if viewed as an emerging market, are bigger than China and India combined. The economic power of women is rising rapidly. By 2013, the worldwide income of women will rise by $5.1 trillion, which is greater than China’s expected growth of $3 trillion over the same time period. And their power is vast: women’s income, worldwide, is greater than the income of China and India combined.
80% of buying decisions in the world are made by women. At first I didn’t believe this statistic. Later, I met the VP of Nissan Motors for Asia. Now I figured of any purchase, that cars would be a male-dominated decision. Wrong. He told me that 70% of the decisions to buy a Nissan are made by women.
Men spend money on women and whisky; women spend money on the family. Margaret Atwood observed that this is why 94% of the borrowers from the renowned Grameen Bank are women, each of whom is playing a key role in allowing millions of individuals to work their way out of poverty with increased independence. And historically, this is probably why in Native North American communities the job of dividing up the kill was given to older women — they knew which families needed more.
The board of directors gap is still too wide. The CEO sitting next to me told me a story about a woman friend of hers who recently got a call from a recruiter who had been tasked to find a woman for the board of a venerable company that had sold exclusively to women for over 20 years. The board had never included a woman; she would be the first one. Amazed, she declined the interview.
Hire women executives, raise profits. When I observed that I had worked in precious few technology companies that had women executives, the woman next to me said: “Well you are leaving money on the table. Studies show that companies with women executives have a healthier top and bottom line.” After this session, I believe her.
The current world is built by men with men in mind. What if the world was built by women from ground up? How would that be like? The above observations could give a peek into that.