It’s a Women’s World Now

Not exactly, but there are some arguments that support a shift from the centuries long belief that all growth and success came from it being a “man’s world.”

In 2006 Mary Clare Hunt wrote a marketing book called “In Women we Trust” that shared the fact that women make 80% of the buying decisions when it comes to “buying consumer products and services.” In light of that cultural shift, more businesses began to create marketing campaigns that appealed to the “fairer sex.” Not only were marketing messages changing, but Hunt also recommended a shift in the sales process to be more trust oriented. “Women may fall in and out of love, but they don’t fall in and out of trust.”  Therefore, businesses that desire a long standing relationship with their customers need to develop and nurture that trust.

However, women are not just doing the buying.

Women are also leading companies and changing the way businesses look at their performance.  In a recent article in Fast Company entitled Can Tech Companies Continue to Innovate with no Women at the Table, some pretty significant stats are shared:

Over 400 women-led companies in the Springboard portfolio:

  • Have raised $5 billion in equity financing.
  • 10 are IPOs.
  • 80% are still in business, generating $4 billion in revenues and creating tens of thousands of new jobs.

The fourth-largest angel investment group in the U.S. is Golden Seeds, which supports women-led startups.

Women are starting businesses at a rate of 1.5 times the national average, which is a 20% increase over the last decade. 187 million women worldwide are currently starting or running a business enterprise (although a recent look a the 2012 Fortune 500 list shows that only 3.6% of Fortune 500 companies are led by female CEOs).

So with stats showing that having women in the boardroom leads to success…why is it that so many of the Fortune companies don’t? In fact, one out of ten of the Fortune 500 companies are without women in leadership roles. Yet women lead the way in online conversation, innovation in business success and as consumer influencers.

“Beyond that well-worn statistic that women control household spending on everything from cleansers to cars to computers, it’s incumbent on tech companies to remember that women also make up more than half of Internet users and drive the majority of engagement and activity for social media and networking apps/sites/tools,” said Elisa Camahort Page, cofounder of BlogHer, who will be speaking at the virtual Women Who Tech Telesummit on May 23rd. “That certainly speaks to the need for diversity on development and user experience teams, but since the data also shows that companies with more diversity at the very top achieve better financial results, it’s just as important to bring diverse perspectives to the entire chain of command. It’s good business from every angle.”

What will it take for more businesses to recognize the value of having women at the helm? I believe it starts when we look in the mirror. Do we BELIEVE we can lead? Do we understand how valuable our contributions are to the greater good of our company, our community, our family?

If we are still under the illusion that a women’s role is to be behind the man (behind every successful man is a women leading him on) instead on the front lines, then how will we ever change the mindset of men in those Fortune 500 companies?

The tide is turning.  Click on the infographic in this article to see some of the stats in the world of technology, but we can do more.

It’s not quite a “Women’s World” yet, but hopefully soon it will be a world where men and women stand shoulder to shoulder; each offering their unique knowledge, perspective and entrepreneurial spirit for the greater good of our economy.

What are your thoughts? Is it a pipe dream to think that men and women will ever be viewed as equals?