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Opinion and Insight
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JWT's Female Index Reveals Insight into Today's Women

J. Walter Thompson Europe, 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Global proprietary research gives agency's clients unrivalled understanding of today’s women

JWT's Female Index Reveals Insight into Today's Women

The Women’s Index is a 'living breathing' global proprietary research into today’s women from J. Walter Thompson. It examines women’s attitudes to almost everything from career, ambition, religion and finance to sexuality, looks, attractiveness, parenting and health. 

The research shows that women are now often on equal terms with men when it comes to providing for themselves and their family or making decisions in the house. They are also more complex than ever to engage with and can no longer be defined through the narrow lens of parental responsibility. 

J. Walter Thompson has used the Women’s Index research to create 20 new Female Tribes, characterising the key trends and facets of female progress around the world. The Women’s Index spans 9 countries – US, China, Australia, Brazil, UK, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India and South Africa – and gathers answers from more than 4,300 women.

Key statistics from the women’s Index include: 

84% believed that it is important for women to step up as mentors for younger women

61% said female role models in film and TV have been influential in their lives

73% said they made the majority of financial decisions in their house

68% felt ‘confident’ that they will achieve their goals

43% felt that their opinion is less valued because they’re a woman


By delivering a deeper understanding of today’s women’s wants, needs, desires and attitudes J. Walter Thompson Company wants to drive the message of Female Capital, the worth women bring to the world as women by celebrating their aspirations and achievements. 

Rachel Pashley, Global Planner at J. Walter Thompson, said: “Whilst the world is familiar with the idea of women as consumers, we witness women as wealth creators in their own right. We believe the concept of Female Capital will be transformative not just for business but for society as a whole.”

“We feel that culturally we’re still not reflecting women’s true status and influence in society, we view women through a narrow lens of parental responsibility, when we could be and should be celebrating women’s achievements and aspirations- and this opens up a world of possibilities. 

“When you consider that onscreen role models influence not just women’s career decisions but their life decisions: so 1 in 4 women in Brazil have left an abusive relationship just through the influence of what they see on screen - then it becomes harder to dismiss advertising as trivial, and that changing the cultural narrative around women could be game changing.”


MEET 3 TRIBES

Asian Alphas - Modern Asian women are shedding the docile home-maker stereotype to become an economic powerhouse. Asia is home to the highest ratio of female to male CEOs in the world, and two thirds of the female self-made billionaires are Chinese. In China, women are much more likely in their youth to prioritise education and a career over friendships and fun. 50% of women in China aspire to be ‘aggressive’ and ‘maternal' and 63% say they use their femininity as a means of power and influence.

Teen Activist - One of the interesting contradictions with the Teen Activists is on the one hand how level headed and mature they are - more likely to conform – but also how passionate they are about changing the world around them. However, growing up in a hostile world has given them a desire to change it, and armed with idealism and social media connectivity they’re making their voices heard.

In the Generation Z report based on a survey of 1,000 12- to 19-year-olds JWT asked them what they worried about. 61% mentioned terrorism and 60% said wars around the world. This was followed by fears about the state of the planet (57%) and the economy (53%). Just 56% thought men and women were treated equally in the workplace and 87% said racial discrimination still exists

Cultural Icons - Hollywood has predicted 2016 as the era of the female hero, with more attention devoted to female actresses, female led storylines and female directors than ever before. No doubt the specter of female led films out earning male led films at the Box Office by up to 30% having something to do with the increased screen time devoted to women. In fact in JWT's Women’s Index Research, 80% felt that women should have a louder voice in terms of cultural influence. 

James Whitehead, Executive Partner, J. Walter Thompson London said: “By creating this proprietary research and the 20 Female Tribes 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.”    

As a global repository of female insight, Female Tribes aims at defining Female Capital: the value that women bring to the world, as women and helping brands and business unlock the true economic value of women as consumers, leaders, inventors, and wealth creators allowing J. Walter Thompson to create better products and services that truly reflect women’s needs while changing the cultural conversation.


Full list of statistics 

Globally

• 56% believed that they are more ambitious than their spouse/significant other

• 84% believed that it is important for women to step up as mentors for younger women 

• 57% said they felt sexually empowered  

• 19% found managing the expectations they have for themselves challenging

• 78% of Baby Boomers agreed that sexual fulfilment isn’t just for the young 

• 74% agreed that their work is linked to who they are.

• 79% agreed that having children has made them work in a more productive and focused way

• 56% believed that I am more ambitious than my spouse/significant other

• 44% agreed that they’d delay having children or getting married to focus on their career

• 76% felt it had never been a better time to be a woman. 

• 59% believed that they have a more senior/responsible role than their spouse/significant other