The Purchasing Power of Women
Women control 51% of wealth. Forbes reports they earn the majority of all university level degrees, and that 70% of women with children under 18 participate in the labour force. In the US, women are the primary breadwinners in 50% of households with children under 18. The folks at Sheconomy report that women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from cars to health care. 45% of video game players are women, according to Girlpower Marketing, an all-woman marketing firm with an expertise in marketing to women. But, according to the Harvard Business Review, women feel vastly underserved, still appear to be undervalued in the marketplace (and underestimated in the workplace), and businesses behave as if they have no say over purchasing decisions – despite the statistics just quoted. Women are constantly juggling conflicting priorities (work, home, family), but few companies have responded to their need for time-saving solutions or for products designed specifically for them – perhaps because they are underrepresented in companies that design these products.
According to Kat Ely (designer and co-founder of Clear Design Lab in Boston, and writer for HH Design, a collection of writing by designers within the context of technology on Medium.com), it is rare for a woman to be in a design or engineering role at a consultancy. She looked at 27 design and engineering consulting firms which public information about their teams, and she found out of 27 design firms made up of 743 people, 188 were women and 555 were men. Only 24.4% of the staff at these design and engineering firms are female.