For decades, women’s earning and spending power has been on the rise. Women got to control their own finances in the 1970s and 80s and began to join the workforce not as side jobs to parenthood but as career-oriented participants in our economy. As recently as a decade ago, women were making the majority of the financial decisions in households across the United States, including the purchase of new homes, cars, and electronics.
This has resulted in a shift in the things women value and prioritize as well. As women earn more financial independence, we’ve learned more about the things they buy and the reasons they buy them. How are independent career women using their spending power? Let’s take a look:
The Rise of the Career Woman
As society has changed over the past 75 years, so have the values of the people living in it, especially the women. Educated and ambitious, more women have been setting aside marriage and family to secure careers first. The younger she is, the more likely she places a high value on her profession. This isn’t to say that women aren’t interested in having children, just that many women are putting it off till their late 20s and early 30s. Moreover, more women are embracing the role of being the family breadwinner and leaving the chores to spouses and partners. Families themselves are changing, with extended family or more than two generations living together, leaving moms more time to work.
Career women also aren’t out spending frivolously. Women are the majority purchasers of 85% of products and services. They are out buying homes, cars, computers, and electronics. They are spending on food and healthcare, as well as time with family in the forms of outings and vacations. Women are even almost half of all sports revenues. These trends, unsurprisingly, have risen with women’s presence in the workplace, especially as more women start businesses of their own. Many women are the primary earners in their families.
Strutting Her Stuff
It’s not all seriousness for career women. Dressing and accessorizing well adds to confidence just through the feeling of looking good. This has given an extra boost to online shopping. Many women are relying on resources such as customer reviews and online comparisons to buy clothing and accessories. This is not limited to handbags and shoes, either. Women are increasingly using their mobile devices to buy diamonds online, as well as cosmetics, perfume, and other toiletries.
New World, New Message
With Millennials positioned to be the most financially independent women in history, there will only be an increase in women’s spending power. Nevertheless, women are still feeling alienated by marketing that caters to tired cliches or other generations. Smart companies can take this opportunity to target their marketing to today’s career women by examining what they need and want in their lives. Corporations who have done such studies in the past have seen the benefits in their bottom lines.
The demographics of independent women represents a lot of different types of women from diverse backgrounds. Some are married, some are not. Some have children while others found alternate ways to channel their energies. Career women are on the rise and bringing with them a variety of tastes, and the revenue to grant their own wishes. What will the world offer them?