The Womenomics conference has been created to outline and explore the growth potential of the female economy. Not only are women often underrepresented in the labour market, but research shows that the gender imbalance in top leadership roles weakens the bottom line, while also impeding innovative thinking, and diversity of thought.
Diversity is not only the right thing to do, it also makes smart business sense, with women representing enormous economic potential as leaders, innovators and consumers.
When we talk about diversity, this leadership pipeline is often the place where all energy and research is focussed, but Womenomics has been created to take a more holistic approach to the concept of the female economy. Along with panels and debates regarding D&I, we also look beyond the corporate sphere to the purchasing power and wealth of the female consumer, which is often underestimated.
In 2019, for example, we heard from Cecilie Westh, the Managing Director of consumer insight company, Nielsen. Who shared the data they have gathered in their 95 years of operation behind consumer behaviour, which shows that the female consumer is becoming more and more powerful.
Women are now accountable for $39.6 trillion of the world’s wealth, up 25% from 5 years ago, and by 2028 it is forecast by Boston Consulting Group that women will control 75% of discretionary spending.
Westh advices that not only are women responsible for over 70% of basic household expenses (FMCG), but their spending on luxury items, is also increasing at a fast rate than the male consumer. As such, all companies should be investing in further understanding this dominant consumer segment, and matching their leadership teams to the consumers they are appealing to.
With increased spending power, comes increased wealth, and one industry responding to this is the financial sector, where technological disruption is already shaking up what used to be considered a permanent institution. We gathered top industry experts: Carsten Borring, AVP at NASDAQ, Sinne Backs Conan, Executive Director European Affairs at Finance Denmark and Mads Skovlund Pedersen, Head of Personal Banking Denmark at Nordea for a panel facilitated by Claer Barrett, Personal Finance Editor of the Financial Times.
The conversation focussed on sustainability and ‘ESG’s, and how banks and investors are increasingly focussing on ethical practices, and how this sustainable revolution is matched by a digital revolution, as cards are replaced by phones and banking moved online.
These trends also indicate an industry catering more and more to its female customers, and especially adapting their wealth management, as women are proven to save far more than their male counterparts, but invest far less of it, while also looking for more sustainable funds.
With booming independent wealth, it is not only banks, but also retailers, investors, insurers, pension funds and beyond, that must adapt to meet the needs of the female consumer.