Female Frontier pt 1: Chantel Lenard of Ford
In this multi-part video, we learn a little more about the plight of women in the workforce. We start with Chantel Lenard, the Director of US Marketing at Ford.
She brings the facts and figures to the discussion. Did you know in 10 years, 1 billion women will enter the workforce? Did you also know that women make different decisions when they do enter and start looking for a job?
Chantel brings us a lot of great data that any company can use to position themselves to women globally.
In part 2, Jenna Wolfe of NBC will be talking about raising a child, and the first time she had to step into a male lockeroom to get the story.
Female frontier, where women are reaching greater levels of prominence and influence in politics, business and as consumers, more so then ever before. Today we brought together a group of thought leaders, to talk about how this trends are evolving and how we expect them to affect the future. But let me first start by introducing myself, as Anika said, I’m Chantel Lenard, I’m the director of US marketing, and I’ve recently returned from multiyear spent living in Shanghai, working for Ford there. While living in Shanghai I had the opportunity to see the role of women in China and compare it to what it’s like here in the US. So, I thought it might be interesting today, to share a few of the facts and trends that were seen in those two countries.
So let me start with first, why does this matter to us as marketers? Well, women represent the greatest market opportunity as a consumer group in the world. Today, they control 20 trillion dollars of consumer spending. And that’s expected to grow to almost 30 trillions of consumer spending in just five years. And when you look at the numbers, and implemental one billion women consumers are expected to enter the market in the next decade. That’s as substantial as the entire country of India or China.
And when you look at the dollars that they control, it’s easy to see why. Women are often sighted as controlling 80 percent of all household purchases in the US. And when women are asked in China, 75 percent of them say that they control the purse strings for their family there as well.
Part of what’s driving this trend is, an increase in education. Now, unfortunately today, just 30 percent of girls worldwide are enrolled in secondary school. And less than one third of university students are women. But, that’s rapidly changing and both evolving markets and in mature markets. In fact today, in the US and China, man are now the minority in terms of those who are enrolling in college and those who are graduating. In fact, in 2013, 58 percent of college graduates, were women. And in China, that number is 65 percent. And that’s even more striking if you consider the gender imbalance in China. There are 117 men to every a 100 women. So you see the balance there really shifting toward woman and higher education.
Now, another evolving trend is, emerging markets are recognizing the importance of women in the work place and how that creates dramatically improved their GDP and their output as an economy. Today there’s roughly a billion women in the global workforce. And in the next 10 years, there’ll be additional one billion women. That will dramatically change the GDP of many of these evolving markets.
Now, another trend that’s influencing women and how they’re evolving in their careers, is the changing economy. As the world evolves from more of a manufacturing and farming based global economy to more of a knowledge economy, this fits very well with many of the skills that women excel in, communication, collaboration, organization. All things which their skills are very well suited. We also see women continuing to move in to the upper ranks of senior management in many companies. Today, over 67 percent of US companies report having women in their senior management ranks. Surprisingly, in China that number is over 80 percent. And those numbers will continue to grow.
Now, one area where there continues to be a discrepancy, however is in wages. Now, today, women are on average about 80 cents to the men’s dollar. But, they now represent 40 percent of the primary grad winners. In US households with children under 18. And in China, women have gained equality in terms of, what they’re contributing to their household income. Since 1980, it’s grown for 20 percent of the total household income, to their contribution amounting to fifty percent of their household.
Now, another area where income discrepancy does still exist is within the ranks of billionaires. So, today women represent 50 percent of the world’s population, but only 10 percent of the world billionaires. But this is an area where it is also changing. So, in 2014 a 172 women made the list. They were 24 more than the 2013, and 12 of this women built their wealth from scratch, as of on starting their own business. They didn’t acquire their wealth from marrying or inheriting. So we see this is a continuing trend and expect those numbers to grow.
Another trend that increased financial independence is that we see women delaying marriage and parenthood or even forgoing it all together. In the US there are now more single people than married. Now, in China, this is one area where we see a big difference between the China and the US, 95 percent of all adults are married in China. But that’s also changing, it’s down from 99 percent. It reset historical trends.
Now, with the changing households, we also see gender, traditional gender roles evolving. And recent statistics with US, stay at home dads have now reached 2 million in the US. And the recent poll by NBC, 51 percent of dads said that they would like to stay at home with their kids if they could afford it.
So what does all this mean to the automotive industry and to what we do here in Ford? Well, I’ll share a few statistics that we see changing in our industry. First, female drivers for the first time in history now outnumber male drivers. And that will continue to grow. As we look at the youngest generations, the millennials, we see already that more than fifty percent of those car buyers from the millennium generation are women. And here’s the wrong. 75 percent of those female buyers say that they feel misunderstood by automotive manufactures. So clearly there is a huge opportunity for us in this space.
One of the reasons why they often feel misunderstood is, they say that the car companies just don’t talk to them about things the way that they think about. They think about futures in cars. So, for example, when we talk about technology, men often describe the technology in terms of the features, and terms of the science and innovation that went into developing that technology. Whereas women, talk about within the context of how the technology helps them, how it provides a solution and a narrative of how it helps their life or solves a specific issue. Now, this is important for us, that we consider how we go to market with these women and how we engage in dialogue. For example, we look at things like safety, something that both men and women want. Women talk about it in terms of, I want features and the technology that will help keep me safe in case of an accident. Men tend to talk about safety in terms of, I want to be able to avoid an accident. Reliability, also, a key one for both men and women. For women, reliability is essential, so they won’t get stranded if their vehicle breaks down. For men, they talk about wanting to stay out of the repair shop.
And last, another one I’ll share is, often at focus group, we see women and men talking about engine power and they chose the higher horsepower engine. But for women, they’ll talk about, why they chose it, was, they wanted more power so they could make sure they could pass when in need, to be able to get out of dangerous situations when they needed to get around something, quickly. For men, they’ll talk about the horsepower, the [Inaudiable] [0:07:52] compared to the competitors, to the other engine line up, and really talk about the features and the statistics.
So, not only how they talk about their features, but also the shopping process is different for both women and men in automotive. So for example, for women, the number one source of information in the shopping process is family. Or friends, you know, word of mouth. What they’ll talk about is kind of personal board of advisors. Who they consult when they’re looking to make a big purchase. They’ll ask friend, family for the personal experience with the brand or with the vehicle. Whereas men, their number one reported source of information is independent experts. They’re looking for that third party validation and reviews of vehicles. For women, when they’re going to a dealership, establishing a transparent trustworthy relationship is paramount to be experienced. For men, their key one from a dealer is to find right product at the right price.
And last, the internet is a growing importance to both women and men in the shopping process. But the internet is more than just an additional source of information for women. It’s truly become an equalizer in the shopping and negotiating process. Women no longer have to feel intimidated in the process in the showroom, when they’re trying to learn information. Now, they can come in armed with just as much information as the sales consultant in the showroom floor, giving them a lot more confidence in that negoatition and the shopping processs.