3 Ways the She-conomy is Making an Impact

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3 Ways the She-conomy is Making an Impact

by Prianka Srinivasan
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3 Ways the #Sheconomy is Making an Impact http://bit.ly/2nbe4u2 #GenderEquality @HPSustainable

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 7:55am

CAMPAIGN: HP, Inc. | Society

CONTENT: Blog

In both developed and developing markets around the world, the participation of women in the labor force continues to increase. There were an estimated 1.75 billion women in the workforce as of 2015, with a quarter of a billion women entering the global labor force since 2006 alone.

This trend has been steady throughout recent history. The labor force participation rate for women in Australia has increased from 43% in 1978 to almost 60% in 2015. On the other side of the globe, Canada has also seen an increase in women in the labor force. In 2014, women made up 47% of the total Canadian labor force, compared to just 37% in 1976. If you’re a woman living in Uganda, Namibia, or Nigeria, you are three times more likely to run a business than your husband, son, brother or uncle.

Not only is women’s participation in the workforce increasing, their impact on the economy is increasing as well. In 2015, it was estimated that women in the US control approximately $14 trillion of the wealth, and influence 85% of all consumer purchases.

Globally, women control $20 trillion in annual consumer spending, rising to nearly $30 trillion in the next five years. And that number doesn’t just account for products marketed to women. In fact, 50% of products marketed to men are purchased by women.

And that number is only expected to grow worldwide. As business strategist Carolyn Buck points out, close to 1 billion women, mostly in the developing world, are going to enter the formal economy and become new economic contributors in the next decade. The growing pace of urban migration, access to education, better health, mobile technologies, and micro credit will continue to fuel this phenomenon.

Already, the impact of the She-conomy is being felt in three important ways: 
 
Women represent a significant customer base. 
For example, women’s safety in India has drawn worldwide attention following reports of violence against women. The issue has spurred some companies to develop apps and services that make it easier for women to contact emergency services, and in April 2016, India’s telecommunications ministry announced that all mobile phones sold in India will be required to have a panic button starting in 2017.

In China, 61% of women listed fitness the most important factor for a healthy lifestyle in 2015. This has increased the number of women participants in gyms, yoga clubs, as well as outdoor sports activities such as running and excursions, and drives demand for fashionable outfits and leisure services that cater to women’s specific needs.
 
Women are business leaders. 
Women-owned businesses now account for 30% of all privately owned enterprises, employing 7.8 million Americans. The wearables industry is a great example. There are a plethora of wearable companies headed by women, including Vinaya, Wearable Experiments, ElektroCouture, Road for Good, and Bellabeat. According to readwrite, women in wearables include academics, entrepreneurs, female directors, designers, and engineers. These women are responsible for setting the wearables agenda and moving the technology forward.

Recent data shows that women-led technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieving 35% higher return on investment.

Women in the labor force are a significant driver of economic growth. 
Equal pay and economic opportunities for men and women boost growth, promote diversity, reduce economic inequality around the world, and help companies earn more. IMF managing director Christine Lagarde reiterated this thought while speaking at a conference in Washington. “It’s actually good for growth, it’s good for diversification of the economy, it’s good for reducing inequality and from a micro point of view, it’s also good for the bottom line of companies,” Lagarde said. “It’s an economic no-brainer.”

As the She-conomy continues to grow and gender parity is achieved, what will this mean for companies, consumer spending, and governments? It will mean designing and building products to tap into the purchasing power of women. Improving policy outcomes with more women in decision-making roles. And helping all employees balance job and family commitments.

 


 

Keywords: Diversity & Inclusion | Gender Equality | HP Inc | Innovation & Technology | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | megatrends by hp | sheconomy

CAMPAIGN: HP, Inc. | Society

CONTENT: Blog