The future is female driven economy and women centred innovation
I’m sure you have heard it several times, the phrase:
Maybe you have felt empowered by it, maybe you have shook your head and thought “Humbug”, maybe you haven’t even cared, but have you ever really considered it?
Women are today the largest unserved market in business due to coded patriarchy — the assumption of the male as default and the exclusion of female perspectives. In practice you can see it in this; for a lot of product you need to add women as a prefix to know it is designed for women, such as women razors, otherwise it is by default male. One of the few product categories where this rule doesn’t apply is skin-care, there the default is female hence we have Men roll-on.
But we rarely stop to think about this, and how the female perspective often isn’t included in design, business and technology, and therefore we see its consequences in the language the products and services speaks about in terms of values, taboo, and “the-other”. An interesting example on this could be to meditate a few minutes on why most personal assistants AI has a female interface, such as “Siri” or “Alexa”?
This while we live in a female driven economy. Based on statistics from Business Insider (2015), women collectively represent the second largest economy in the world based on earned income vs GDP. Also take into consideration that according to Business Insider (2012) the majority of women (90 percent) control the family’s purse strings, from stocking up on household items to having the final say on home and car purchases and health care. From this number you would expect companies to also incorporate women on their teams to explain, understand and engage with women’s perspectives. Still we can’t see that neither in teams, nor in board rooms or in start-ups.
But there is a new generation of women stepping into innovation and they are bringing women centred innovation with them. Innovation that is designed to answer to women’s pain points and direct needs. Thereby challenging the default, the status quo.
Women could be seen as one of largest opportunity in the market today, this at a time where there are few markets left with no competition. This means that any product designed by women for women you put out their will have first movers advantage. And unlike standard emerging market, you don’t have to wait years for the market to mature, because it is already fully matured in terms of size and economic spending.
The future is indeed female.
So what are you waiting for?
This article was written with great inspiration from “The Silent Rise of the Female Driven Economy” by Danielle Kayembe that I recommend everybody to read.