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J. Walter Thompson research reveals women’s true status and influence in society

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By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

May 2, 2016 | 4 min read

More than seven in ten (73 per cent) women decide what gets bought in their households, according to a study that aims to champion the need for marketers to do more to understand their role in society.

The Women’s Index is a new global proprietary research drive by J. Walter Thompson (JWT) and spans nine countries – US, China, Australia, Brazil, UK, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India and South Africa – and gathers answers from more than 4,300 women.

With women apparently making the majority of the financial decisions in the home, the research is a clarion call for marketers and JWT’s clients to better reflect their attitudes to everything from career, ambition, religion and finance to sexuality, looks, attractiveness, parenting and health.

Further evidence to support this approach were highlighted by nearly half (43 per cent) of the survey’s respondent’s admitting that they feel their opinion is less valued because they’re a woman. Brands can play a role in changing those attitudes, particularly at a time when women have a more nuanced and complicated view of the world than they ever have. Some 84 per cent believe it is important for women to step up as mentors for younger women, while just 61 per cent said female role models in film and TV have been influential in their lives.

With this in mind and using the findings from the Women’s Index JWT has created 20 categories which will prove valuable to marketers and advertisers. By delivering a deeper understanding of today’s women’s attitudes JWT is attempting to drive the message of Female Capital which is the worth women bring to the world.

One of the Tribes created from the Index is ‘Asian Alphas’ which describes the trend of modern Asian women shedding their home-maker stereotype to become economic influencers.

Asia is now home to the highest ratio of female to male chief executives in the world, and two thirds of the female self-made billionaires are Chinese. The study suggests that the reason for this can be attributed to the fact that in China, women are much more likely in their youth to prioritise education and a career over friendships and fun.

Another of the Tribes from the study is ‘Teen Activist’ which alludes to young women who are highly motivated to change the world having grown up in a hostile atmosphere. Armed with idealism and social media connectivity this group are increasingly making their voices heard.

James Whitehead, executive partner JWT London said: “By creating this proprietary research and the 20 Female TribesTM we can deliver true insight into modern women around the world.

“This allows us to offer better creative, consultancy and pioneering services to our clients, helping their businesses better serve the biggest consumer group in the world.

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