When we look at numbers, it doesn’t really represent how the industry looks like. The woman world population is more than 50%, but the representation in industries is less than that. Diversity means involving and having women included in the processes of a company.
Companies should ask themselves who they are designing products for, who is actually designing them, and if they have worked on their consumers use. Did they watch them using their products and services? To be able to define their consumer base, companies have to ask what, how, when, why and where …
Profitability is directly connected with diversity. Businesses that are more diverse have more profits and perform better, to a percentage of 21%. There’s even more productivity with ethnical diversity, at 33%. This is logical, because women are part of the consumer base. If you don’t get them inside while you’re designing your products and services, how will you understand and serve them?
When a company pretends that there are diversity and women in their work force, it can include women at reception for example, but they are not really involving them in the product design. Women could not be from marketing, being P&L holders or the people that allocate the budget. That’s why industries need to become more inclusive.
Things are changing, whether the industry is ready or not. Women are getting into the work force and gaining access to wealth. If we look at the female economy of the global banking alliance, women have 23 trillion US dollars of consumer spending. 870 million women are getting into the work force for the first time.
A lot of women are not happy with the services and products done, and it doesn’t work anymore. There’re a lot of opportunities for the industries, because the female economy is at 17 to 22 trillion global markets. The following list contains a few examples of this potential:
- Wealth and investments: women control 40% of the global wealth and are getting into the work force, but the investment community is still treating female and men investors the same way as before. Only 2% of wealth managers only consider women to be a specific client segment and are adapted their services. Companies are missing thousands of US dollars not being able to have opportunities designed by women. In UK and Germany, the numbers are increasing since 2012.
- Financial inclusion: 56% of the bank population is women and they don’t have access to financial services. While more people were gaining access to them, the gender gap itself didn’t change a lot since 2012. In fact, in other regions like Asia, it’s going on the other way. Mobile Money has tried to help to bridge the gap, but in developing countries, there’s still a lot to be done.
- Female founders: there’s a very high increase of female founded companies, because they’re tired of being part of the same homogeneous group. They influence 85% of customer spending but only received 2% of VC founding in 2017. Women are creating products based on their experiences and needs. A lot of consumers, especially female consumers, are moving to this because they can associate with this kind of products. They design products that are beneficial to them and the ecosystem isn’t prepared for it, investors don’t understand how large this opportunity is to invest in female funded companies.
- Manufacturing: for companies that have female products, making them pink isn’t enough. Women are different, for example you don’t have the same needs if you’re a young professional or if you have a family. A lot of companies aren’t even aware that they can increase their profitability by just changing, adapting and understanding female consumer.
- Muslim women: they represent a trillion-dollar market. There’s a huge migration of Muslim women joining the work force for the first time of their life, and financial industries didn’t really take that in account.
If you consider women as part of your client segment and really investigate understanding and knowing their needs, you can tap into a very good market.
There’re lots of opportunities that the industry can tap into by simply getting to understand the female perspective, considering that women are different from men, are getting more access to education, wealth and are funding companies based on their needs. EWPN helps companies understanding the needs of diversity to increase profits, and there’s more to gain if you consider it.
Speaker: Martha MGHENDI-FISHER, EWPN & AWFP