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Female Tribes

There’s never been a better time to be a woman.

In our proprietary Women's Index study 76%(1) of women around the world shared this sentiment. It's estimated women control up to two thirds of the global $18 trillion consumer spend(2), we have women presidents, astronauts, bishops, entrepreneurs and inventors, and we can no longer use age as a predictor of life stage.

Yet within the advertising and communications world we still insist on viewing women through a narrow lens. We define her according to her parental responsibilities - 'the busy working mum' - but do we really understand who she is or appreciate her true sphere of influence?

If we want to truly engage this audience we need to understand women's value as consumers and wealth creators, leaders and influencers: the idea of Female Capital.

So what are two of the trends characterising female diversity and economic empowerment which we are witnessing around the world?

The Cultural Icons


With female-led films now earning significantly more at the box office, 2016 is set to be the era of the female superhero. A female Ghostbusters and Wonder Woman are set for cinema release and Super Girl and Agent Carter are already lighting up the small screen. In fact Hollywood screenwriters' guilds are predicting the 'female myth' as the dominant onscreen narrative for the next two decades(3).

Our own research demonstrates the importance and significance of female role models, with 58%(4) of women around the world saying that a strong female role model on screen had made them more ambitious or assertive. We can prove that what girls and women see on screen can have a profound impact, meaning for brands wishing to inspire and engage women, the advertising narrative has never been more important to consider.

Get in touch to discover what this could mean for your brands.

From Tiger Mothers to Steel Roses: meet the Asian Alphas


With 50% of Asian billionaires being female(5),  and one third of all CEOs in Thailand being female, Asia is home to a new generation of ambitious and financially empowered women. In fact, Asia boasts the highest ratio of female to male CEOs in the world(6).

Through our proprietary research we found that Chinese generation X are the most likely of any generation in any market to be the major breadwinner in the household, with 65% of generation X surveyed agreeing(7). Yet for all their financial prowess, success for women in China is still defined by marriage for 28% of women we surveyed, versus 21% global average.

Of all the qualities that women could embody, women in China were significantly more likely to suggest ‘aggressive’ as a key trait - four times more likely than the global average in fact - and this was felt most strongly amongst millennials and baby boomers!

Intriguingly, there was also strong agreement with 'maternal' as a core trait - in fact 'aggressive' (50%) and 'maternal' (50%)(8) were the stand out values women felt they should embody - perhaps explaining the cult of the Tiger Mother.

This new spirit of independence and empowerment has inspired Asian beauty brands to rethink their engagement strategy, redefining beauty as power, and adopting a less passive tone of voice.

Get in touch to discover what this could mean for your brands.

[1] J. Walter Thompson Company Women’s Index Study (December 2015)

[2] Faith Popcorn Trend Reserve, She Change

[3] John Truby, Page Screen Writing Awards

[4] J. Walter Thompson Company Women’s Index Proprietary Study (December 2015)

[5] Bloomberg

[6] Bloomberg

[7] J. Walter Thompson Company Women’s Index Study (December 2015)

[8] J. Walter Thompson Company Women’s Index Study (December 2015)