Look at companies like Oracle, Novartis, State Farm, Procter & Gamble, Intel, and Cobalt and you’ll find one trend that is consistent despite being radically different firms: a commitment to the development of women’s leadership skills through networks and conferences. When it comes to employee acquisition, retention and engagement, these firms know that:
women represent 60% of university graduates in Europe and North America (and 52% in China, 70% in the United Arab Emirates)
a majority of the jobs lost in both the US and Britain in this recession have been lost by men, not women
of the 8 million jobs created in Europe since the year 2000, 75% of them have been filled by women
2009 may also be the year that women become the majority of the American labor force for the first time
When it comes to customer loyalty and buying decisions, these firms also know that:
Women purchase more than 51% of all new cars and influence the purchase decision of 85% of all new cars sold in the U.S (Jody DeVere, CEO of ASkPatty.com)
76% of women identify themselves as the principal shoppers
Women also play a large role in non-routine expenditures. Of the $200 billion spent at retail on CE products in 2007, roughly $90 billion (45%) was made by women at the checkout counter or online. (Catalyst).
Bottom line: For productivity, profitability, and performance, it just makes good sense to hold conferences and training sessions to encourage the development of women as business leader.