CEO confronts gender in global consumer economy

first_imgThe Mendoza College of Business and the University’s gender studies program hosted Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor and author of “Why She Buys,” on Thursday to discuss women’s role in business.Brennan’s lecture, “Top Trends in Marketing and Selling to Women,” began by explaining the growth trends in the marketplace. She addressed the fact that nations like Brazil, China and India tend to be labeled as the greatest growth markets, but she emphasized that the commonly unmentioned female market is especially large.“Women are now considered to be one of the world’s largest emerging growth markets because of women’s increased economic participation, educational levels and political participation,” Brennan said.This increased female presence in the market has resulted in the creation of programs targeting women by major companies, she said. Brennan said companies like Under Armour, Levi’s and Harley-Davidson are developing these types of programs with the hope of increasing their brand by including women.“Women are the engine of the consumer economy, driving between 70 and 80 percent of all consumer purchases,” she said.The domination of women in the marketplace can attributed to two factors: buying power and influence, Brennan said. An increased percentage of women with a higher education has increased their earning power and contributes to their buying power, she said.“Influence means that even when a woman isn’t paying for something with her own money … she is typically the influencer or veto vote behind somebody else’s purchase,” Brennan said.Additionally, Brennan aimed to counter the stereotypes surrounding women and shopping. As opposed to the misconceptions that women only care about shopping for shoes or handbags, she explained that women’s spending habits serve a greater purpose.“The reason women are so responsible for consumer spending is because, in virtually every society in the world, women have primary caregiving responsibilities for both children and the elderly — and just about everyone in between,” Brennan said.Such a culture has led to a “multiplier effect,” Brennan said. Because women tend to be responsible for purchasing things for the important people in their lives, they influence the market for even items like men’s athletic apparel, she said.As a result, Brennan’s work at Female Factor has focused on identifying and monitoring women’s trends in the market. The first major trend Brennan said she saw was the large percentage of women in today’s labor force.Because 70 percent of women with children under the age of 18 are a part of the labor force, today’s business must accommodate for time limitations on women’s shopping, Brennan said. Operational hour changes and convenience-focused business models are ways in which companies can address time needs.“With less time, there’s a demand for services, not just products,” Brennan said.Similarly, Brennan has also observed trends relating to the delayed marriages of today’s women. Because women tend to wait until the age of 27 to get married and because they are more active in the labor force, they are more likely to have the desire and means to purchase things before marriage.Brennan said the delayed marriages also have an effect on family formation that influences the market. For example, women married later in life tend to have kids at a later time, and because they are older, they are more entrenched in their personal brand and impose this brand on their kids.“Many brands are finding that they have an opportunity to either age up or age down the spectrum because there is a broader embracing of brands across the age spectrum,” Brennan said.A variety of additional trends led by the female market, such as social media and fitness trends, have highlighted the increased role of female empowerment in advertising, Brennan said.“It is positive to see that strength and femininity is being positioned as something powerful in the marketplace,” she said.Tags: business, gender, market, women, women in the labor forcelast_img read more

ICS Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling Against US Census Citizenship Question

first_imgWASHINGTON DC, United States, CMC – The Washington-based Institute for Caribbean Studies (ICS) has welcomed a ruling by the United States Supreme Court that the Trump administration presented insufficient reason for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.The ruling blocks the question being asked, at least, for the time being.Would have caused fear and undercountingICS said that the ruling has reinforced that separation of census count from matters of immigration status. “More importantly, the Supreme Court’s ruling provides an opportunity to ensure that the census reflects our country in full,” it said, noting the addition of a citizenship question would have injected fear into vulnerable and traditionally undercounted communities, “making them even more vulnerable and undercounted.“We at ICS hope that this ruling is the end of it. All Caribbean American community organizations are asked to get on board the census initiative to help ensure that every person in every community is counted as our democracy and the law demand.”Supports outreach and staffingICS, whose founder and president is Jamaican-born Dr. Claire A. Nelson, said it will continue to advocate for legislation and funding to guarantee the 2020 census is “fair and accurate, through support for outreach and staffing to secure maximum participation and inclusion.“The census is a constitutional responsibility, and we must continue to be engaged as citizens and residents,” Dr. Nelson said.“In doing so, we must work hard to ensure that the census does not become a political football and that we can continue to have faith in the future of the American dream and the census as a critical part of the American democratic process,” she added.In rejecting the Trump administration’s reason for adding a question on citizenship to the census, the US Supreme Court left in doubt whether the question would still appear on census forms that are dispatched to every US household next year.Appears contrivedWriting for the majority and joining the court’s liberal wing, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the explanation given by the Trump administration for adding the question “appears to have been contrived.“The decision to reinstate a citizenship question cannot be adequately explained in terms of DOJ’s (the Department of Justice’) request for improved citizenship data to better enforce the VRA (Voting Rights Act),” he said.“Several points, considered together, reveal a significant mismatch between the decision (US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross) made and the rationale he provided.”Justice Roberts said that Ross, whose department overlooks the census, sought to include a citizenship question on the census “about a week into his tenure, but it contains no hint that he was considering VRA enforcement in connection with that project”.New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose state was in the vanguard of the lawsuit before the US Supreme Court, hailed Thursday’s ruling.“The census will remain a tool for delivering on our government’s promise of fairness and equity,” she said in a statement, adding that states, such as New York, “will not be short-changed out of critical resources or political representation.”“Our democracy withstood this challenge,” noted the first Black woman to become New York Attorney General.“But make no mistake, many threats continue to lie ahead from the Trump administration, and we will not stop fighting. Now, more than ever, the marginalized, the disenfranchised, and everyday people need us to stand firm in our fight for justice,” James said.President Trump described the court’s ruling as “ridiculous”.last_img read more