Archive for March, 2010

March is Women’s History Month

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010



In 1978 “Women’s History Week” began in Sonoma County, California. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration. March was declared Women’s History Month. Below are just a few of the remarkable women we should celebrate.


1587 – Virginia Dare was the first person to be born in America to English parents.
1792 — Suzanne Vaillande appeared in the first ballet in the U.S. and was probably the first female choreographer and set designer in the U.S.
1795 – Anne Parrish established the first charitable organization for women in Philadelphia.
1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first U.S. women to earn a medical degree.
1864 – Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first black women to receive an M.D. degree from the New England Female Medical College.
1870 — Ada Kepley became the first women to graduate from a law school.
1872 – Victoria Woodhull is the first woman presidential candidate in the U.S. when she was nominated by the National Radical Reformers.
1896 — Alice Blachè is the first American film director, who made more than 300 films and short features.
1981 — Sandra Day O’Connor is appointed by President Reagan to the Supreme Court making her its first female justice.
1983 – Sally Ride was the first American woman to be sent into space.
1990 – Antonia Novello is sworn in as U.S. Surgeon General, becoming the first women and the first
Hispanic to hold that position.
2006 – Effa Manley, co-owner of the Negro Leagues team the Newark Eagles, was the first woman elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
2007 – Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House.
2007 – Drew Gilpin Faust was Harvard’s first female president in its 371-year history.
2010 – Kathryn Bigelow was the first women director to win Best Director at the Oscars for The Hurt Locker. businesswomen2

And women continue to contribute…locally, nationally and internationally.

Why Don’t Kitchen-Related Toys Cater to Both Boys and Girls?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010


Males are great cooks. In fact most of the world’s famous chef’s are men. Yet toy manufacturers make it more difficult for boys to enjoy this childhood passion by making their products for girls. The colors, design and prominently displayed girls on the box all say this is a product for a girl!

The most popular is the EASY-BAKE Oven. According to Sherrie Gulmahamad, “the EASY-BAKE Oven has sold about 20 million units since its introduction in 1963, introducing generations of little boys and girls to the joys of baking–well, mostly girls.”

duff-goldman-girl-gourmet-cake-bakery1Duff Goldman, renown for his Charm City Cakes and Ace of Cakes, partnered with Girl Gourmet to create the Girl Gourmet Cake Bakery. This kit allows girls (and boys) to make and roll out their own fondant to decorate a mini two-tiered cake with an air-powered icing gun. But the box still screams, “this product is for girls.”

According to Maria Sciullo in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s article, “Boys at home in the kitchen”, there are an increasing number of boys interested in cooking and baking. Yet, in her ezbake2opinion, makers of cooking-related toys still market almost exclusively to girls.

“About a month ago, a group of boys in Carrie Hackett’s second-grade class were out on the playground discussing—of all things—Easy-Bake Ovens”, said Sciullo. “They were mad that there weren’t any ovens for boys. ‘I told them there’s a blue-and-white one but they said, ‘No, there’s a girl on the box.’”

duff-goldman-girl-gourmet-cake-bakery21So why don’t kitchen toy manufacturers and designers go after this untapped market? They might be surprised at their rise in sales. In fact, in my family, both my sons cook and so do my two grandsons.

Marketing Cleaning Products to Both Men and Women

Monday, March 8th, 2010

house2After literally weeks of cleaning, my house is spotless, at least for the moment. In reflection on the products we used in our toil, I was thinking of how most cleaning products are still marketed primarily to women. True, women are the major buyers, but the gap is getting smaller as more men do the shopping, help with household chores and even stay home with the kids.

If you are promoting a product primarily to women, should you think abouttrash3 male buyers? If you are advertising mostly to men, should you reevaluate your options and your sales demographics? You will find that will create a big spike in sales.

Digressing a little from household cleaners to personal ones, I think the Dove for Men commercials are appealing because he is comfortable in his own skin. The ads appeal to women, without minimizing the maleness of the man.

lady11As gender roles continue to blur and women become an even greater force in the work place, couples are feeling the impact. More women are employed than men for the first time since WWII. With children, parents, partners and career responsibilities, women are oftentimes overwhelmed. Men can really earn points by jumping in and helping out without being asked, aka “nagging.”