Published December 15, 2009 on
Women Make Up More of the Workforce
United States: What Companies Have Done Wrong and How They Can Fix Them
Fifteen years ago in 1994, my first
book, Targeting the New Professional Woman: How to Market and Sell to 57
Million Working Women, was published. In it I stated in the final
chapter, titled “Facts, Figures and Sales Trends” that: Women will be
instrumental in the way the Big Three compete with each other and with
imports… Women will be more involved in the designing and marketing of
automobiles… Looking ahead, recognizing what’s happening and what’s
going to happen in the marketplace is key to survival in the
twenty-first century. Ford, with a lower market share, has the upper
hand and may well pull ahead of General Motors unless GM makes some
dramatic and much needed changes in their corporate culture… While Ford
has a long way to go to take over the number – one spot, it can
dramatically increase its position. Much of the success of the endeavor
will depend on the response General Motors makes…
In 1994 when people read the above
statements, there were many naysayers as you can imagine. “GM has 32
percent of the market’ I often heard, “Your predictions can never
happen,” Fifteen years later, that prophecy has become a reality with GM
recently declaring bankruptcy and asking for federal bailout money. Ford
is the only stable automaker of the former Big Three.
Women are a powerful force globally.
In the United States, women spend $.85 of every dollar. To get through
the recession and return to profitability, companies need to focus their
strategies on women. They not only spend the money, but in many
countries they make a large portion of the family income.
Women’s aggregate income is highest in
the United States, followed by China, Norway and Denmark.¹
Three-quarters of the people who have lost jobs in the U.S. in the
current recession are men. The number of working women in the U. S. will
surpass the number of working men soon if this trend continues. The
female economy will keep on growing as more women own their own
businesses, rise to higher level management positions in corporations
and continue to control household purchasing.
Ernst & Young recently stated that
companies with more women in senior management roles make more money.
The studies Ernst & Young used showed that women can make the difference
between economic success and failure in emerging countries and between
sound and risky decisions in the corporate world. Catalyst, a non-profit
organization located in New York City, works with member companies to
expand opportunities for women in senior management positions and on
board of directors. They have strong documentation that indicates that
companies with three or more women on their boards outperformed the
competition on all measures by at least 40 percent.
Read Part 2: Countries Winning with Women
Read Part 3: Empowering
Women for Economic Growth