The In-Home Chief Financial Officer

Women are known for shouldering the responsibility of two shifts: one within the workforce and one at home. While women are continually striving to find their voices in the traditionally male-dominated workplace, they have taken on the role of becoming the Chief Financial Officer, or CFO, of their second shift. 

In a March episode of The Bistro, Susan Dobscha, a Professor of Marketing at Bentley University broke down the facts and statistics surrounding the consumer purchasing power held by women. From detailing the history of the modern marketplace to presenting data on the impact of female spending, this podcast introduces a new side to the conversation surrounding the role of women as consumers. 

When viewing the household as a corporation, everyone has a role to play, and women have found themselves at the top of the corporate financial ladder in their homes. Responsible for making over 90% of all household purchases, according to Susan Dobscha this new mentality of women being the CFO’s of their families highlights “the amount of work necessary to maintain a modern household.”

Debunking the myth that women only shop for clothes and domestic items, the statistic above also includes traditionally masculine purchases such as power tools and cars. Given their control of 60% of all personal wealth in the United States, women influence over the financial choices their families make and the broad span of products they invest in, businesses should learn to recognize the power of the purse that women hold. Without acknowledging and adapting to the demands of female consumers, companies will find their sales suffering. 

According to an article published on Bloomberg, there are ten things that businesses should know about female consumers. It highlighted points from how to connect with women consumers to their impact on the market. 

The post explains how women “are multiple markets in one” because they often make purchases for their immediate and extended family. It also disproves the stereotypical idea that a pink product is a product for women and instead advises against relying on that color unless advertising for a specific cause such as raising money for breast cancer. The article stresses that “service is a key differentiator,” and encourages companies to step up their customer service. 

While women of different generations may not value the same features when making financial decisions, boomers focus on brand loyalty while millennials tend to focus more on the cost, the gender split is still prevalent across age ranges. Susan Dobscha stated that “currently the gender split of age 55 and older is 54 percent women to 46 percent men.”

Ultimately one thing is clear, and it is stated in the Bloomberg article: “women’s consumer domination is here for the long term.” As women continue to expand their positions in the immediate workforce, their financial power as CFO of their households is only going to grow with them. For companies that wish to thrive and remain relevant, it is essential that they recognize and adjust with the powerful female consumer.