Companies need to pay the Gender Dividend or face the wrath of High Heeled Warriors!

Southasian-women-consumerIn the latest NBCUniversal study (July 2013) on the female pay-television audience, the global entertainment network shed light on what Southeast Asian women look for in a brand or a service.

The psychographic research dubbed as “High Heeled Warriors” discovered that Asian women aged 20 to 44 are complex, and that a careful segmentation of this market bracket is crucial for a marketing campaign to succeed.

“You need to really know who this woman is. If you want to send a message, you need to know what she wants,” says Christine Fellowes, Universal Networks International’s managing director for Asia Pacific.

The media company surveyed over 3,000 female subscribers from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong, and revealed their motivations, aspirations, attitudes and usage of consumer products.

The High Heeled Warriors study identified five unique groups of women consumers, namely: the trailblazers, the passionistas, the peace-keepers, the social-siders and the heart-warmers.

Trailblazers are individualistic, career-focused women who are big on spending and consume a variety of media, including entertainment on multiple platforms.

Passionistas are the “spontaneous” ones who want to “live for the moment.”

Women who treat TV as a social activity and tend to have the most number of friends on Facebook are called the social-siders.

The peace-keepers, on the other hand, aim for balance and are very loyal consumers that stick to their favorite brands and TV shows.

And heart-warmers are family-oriented women who take pride and spend for their family.

What this and other studies before it testify is that women are the dominant source of economic growth for all global economies over the next decade – and companies that are able to capitalize on the roles women play as economic actors will most likely have an advantage as national economies start to rebuild them in the wake of the global recession.

Fully integrating women into both the workplace and marketplace can yield a significant return that’s now dubbed the ‘Gender Dividend’.

Much like the dividends that public companies pay to their shareholders, the Gender Dividend is a steady benefit that’s earned by making wise, balanced investments in developing women as workers and potential leaders as well as understanding women as consumers and their impact on the economy and the bottom line.

If switched on marketers do their job right, the Gender Dividend should be reflected in increased sales, expanded markets and improved recruitment and retention of key talent segments, irrespective of where you trade on the planet.

But these benefits won’t happen overnight.

As we head towards a General Election here in the UK two years from now, all the main political parties need to review the discrimination and equality legislation and policies that have failed to rectify the imbalance in the rights of women compared with men that continues to exist today.

It requires a concerted, strategic focus on how to fully integrate women’s experiences, perspectives and voices into the fabric of a company or organisation at a time when women are still under represented in the boardrooms of major companies and also continue to be excluded from high office within Government, judiciary and just about any other area you can think of.

The leaders of all the main political parties need to take this issue seriously rather than paying lip service to it and elevate women‘s advancement to a strategic objective tied to their overall plan for economic recovery. Not to do so would be bonkers.


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