17 Dec 2014

Ignore the potential of the female dollar at your peril

‘Ignore the potential of the female dollar at your peril’, was one of the key messages to NAB bankers and customers from US gender research and sociologist Dr Marianne Cooper during a recent visit to Australia.

NAB invited Dr Cooper to Australia to provide exclusive insights to our customers and bankers on the emerging economic power of women.

“Women are the largest emerging market that the world has ever seen. They are a bigger emerging market than India and China combined,” Dr Cooper said.

“More women than ever before are now providing for their families. In Australia, almost 60 per cent of families have both parents in the workforce, and women now out-earn men in a quarter of dual-income households.

“The female breadwinner has become the new normal.

“The growing financial contribution of women to their families reflects large-scale labour market and demographic transformations that are here to stay.”

Despite these trends, Dr Cooper argues that too few Australian businesses have laid the groundwork to capitalise on the growing economic force of women.

“Gender issues are business issues,” Dr Cooper said.

“Relatively few businesses have thought strategically about how they can incorporate women into their business model.

“There’s a lot of money to be made from taking women seriously and companies that figure out how to respond to this market will be the winners.”

Leigh O’Neill, General Manager for Victoria for NAB Private Wealth, invited Dr Cooper to Australia so our customers and bankers can hear first-hand from one of the world’s leading experts in gender.

“We want to see businesses innovate and take advantage of insights like those of Dr Cooper,” Ms O’Neill said.

“The marketplace is changing, and businesses that are nimble and can adapt will be the ones to succeed and grow.”

Dr Cooper is a sociologist at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University and an affiliate at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. She was the lead researcher for Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg and is a contributor to LeanIn.org.

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