The Global Economy Recovery Will Be Driven By Women—Part 1
by Gerry Myers

Published December 15, 2009 on

Women Make Up More of the Workforce

The 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


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