Women on the podium
Just think. Six Australian women have just won gold at the Olympics*.
As we see these women pump the air, fall to their knees and kiss the ground, we seek out stories on what they have achieved and how they did it.
And by the end of the Olympics it will be clear: it is the women who are the stars. Like it or not, women now run the country and win the sports medals. Women are no longer chasing achievement. They are on the podiums, sharing their tips.
And this reflects the profound shift that is occurring in society. To truly understand it, take a look at Private Media’s new site Women's Agenda, which has just launched today.
It reflects this shift: professional women of today don't just want to achieve – they are achieving.
They are not just striving for success: they have made it. And this is having big ramifications for society, for business, for advertising, for media, for consumers and for relationships.
These are the major changes that are causing this shift:
- More women are graduating from university courses than men. Just think about that for a second. Women are no longer a minority in the professional workforce. They are the majority. They are rising fast through the ranks and taking positions based on competency. The boys’ clubs are dead as men will need to compete on competency to get ahead.
- Women used to see their life as a choice: kids or career. Now many women see kids as an adjunct to their career – it's kids and careers. And in a growing number of cases, it is no kids at all as women choose to pursue their own agenda.
- Women understand they are going to live into their 80s and 90s, with more of them able to work and achieve through their 50s, 60s and 70s. Starting a family is no longer the end of their career, with more women building and starting businesses and progressing swiftly in careers when middle-aged. As Marina Go, the publisher of Women's Agenda, explains today, she waited until her late 40s to launch this publication, knowing she has decades to build it.
- Professional women are living an independent lifestyle. No one tells them what to do. Bosses don't. Nor do spouses. Nor do radio stars, shock jocks or advertisers. They won't accept being put down or patronised and will hit back when demeaned, as Vile Kyle learnt the hard way.
- These women will live and work around the world. It’s nice if their mums look after their babies, but more mums are going to be in the third or fourth phase of a career or running their own business. So, professional child care is the great alternative.
- There is a growing focus on wealth creation as women understand that a career can only take them so far. The survey we carried out of Private Media's professional female readers shows that 70% of them want more information on wealth creation, property and share investment. Almost half the readers of sister site Property Observer are women.
So what's next?
As senior women reach the pinnacles of power, they understand that true power actually comes from networking and authority, rather than simply position. Senior women are penetrating power networks, controlling these networks and building their own in order to create opportunities for other women and men. For those women hitting their 30s, they see choice, not barriers, ahead. And for young women coming out of university, well what can I say? They can simply do anything and achieve anything as they set their own agenda. Just listen to your daughters.
Don't expect there won't be a backlash. It is growing more vocal and nasty. The older, male shock jocks can't cope with this change and will increasingly attack women with putdowns and vague threats of violence. Men who love to work with women mainly because they can take credit for their work will find it uncomfortable when women take credit for their own success.
But many men will welcome the change. As the boundaries, driven by changing technology, shift between work and home and play and work, men will find themselves the beneficiaries as the conversation turns from gender to people and choice.
Women's Agenda will be part of that conversation. If you are interested in this changing world – and anyone in business should be – register for its daily newsletter.
And if you doubt they are a good market to reach, just look at their profile and intent to purchase.
And note: Nearly half these women earn over $100,000 a year.
Career and finance:
- I am ambitious professionally and want to get ahead at work: 56.6%
- I would like to increase my personal wealth: 70.1%
- In the next 12 months, planning to invest in listed shares: 27.1%
- In the next 12 months, planning to invest in investment property: 36.4%
- In the next 12 months, planning to invest in managed funds: 10.7%
- In the next 12 months, planning to invest in term/cash mgt accounts: 68.1%
- In the next 12 months, planning to invest in income protection insurance: 14.9%
Purchase intent in the next 12 months:
- Accounting Services: 24.3%
- Financial Planning Services: 16.7%
- Credit or Charge Card: 18.5%
- Home appliances, furniture, fittings: 43.0%
- Insurance: 23.4%
- Luxury Clothing or Accessories: 22.2%
- Mortgage or Refinancing: 17.2%
- New car: 21.4%
- Mobile phone: 28.9%
- Tablet: 32.6%
- Education, postgraduate and professional development: 44.3%
- Travel – accommodation, personal and business: 66.5.%
- Travel – international flights, personal and business: 67.9%
- Travel – domestic flights, personal and business: 75.4%
KEY FINDINGS: Women’s Agenda pre-launch survey, Survey Monkey, July 16, 2012.
The number of respondents to date is 1,456.
*That’s two individual event medallists and the 4x100 metre swimming relay team.