To celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 this March 8, we recently undertook a new gender-focused study. The report found that as the number of financially independent women around the world is increasing, so too is their optimism about the future, along with their focus on health and wellness.
Our analysis, which looked at consumer confidence, economic sentiment and spending intentions by gender over the past five years, revealed a consecutive year-on-year increase in women’s confidence levels between 2013 and 2018. The female consumer confidence index increased 12 points over that time, from 91 in fourth-quarter 2013 to 103 in fourth-quarter 2018. Despite women’s rising confidence levels, however, they remain slightly less optimistic than their male counterparts. Their top concerns in fourth-quarter 2018 were health (24%), the economy (24%), job security (19%) and work-life balance (17%). Conversely, the economy was the chief concern for men globally (30%), followed by health (22%), job security (19%) and work-life balance (19%).
Women around the world are also increasingly focused on building their financial stability—after covering their essential living expenses, 51% of women say they allocate their spare cash to savings in fourth-quarter 2018 (up 4 percentage points vs. Q4 2013), compared with 52% of men. Meanwhile, women’s willingness to spend trails their male counterparts, with 47% saying now is a good time to buy the things they need and want, compared with 53% of men. Women were slightly more inclined than men to put their spare cash towards holidays (46% for women vs. 45% for men), while both women and men share similar spending intentions when it comes to using their spare cash for out-of-home entertainment (37%) and home improvement (28%).
Women’s employment sentiment is also increasing, with more than half (53%) feeling optimistic about their job prospects for the next 12 months, compared with 44% five years ago in 2013. However, women’s outlook on job prospects trails men’s—60% of men feel positive about their job prospects over the coming 12 months, compared with 50% five years ago in 2013.
“There are multiple reasons that may be causing the imbalance between men and women around their optimism related to job prospects, and one of them could be the glass ceiling,” says Marie Lalleman, Executive Vice President, Global Clients Solutions, Nielsen. “International Women’s Day presents an opportunity for employers to think about ways in which they can empower women to be successful in their jobs and enable a more suitable work environment to support better balance in personal and professional lives for both men and women alike.”
At Nielsen, we’re committed to creating an environment where we value, encourage and promote the various thoughts, opinions and insights of our diverse workforce that enable us to grow and continuously provide clients with innovative solutions. In fact, we recently reaffirmed our commitment to human rights through our updated Global Human Rights Guidelines.
And this report is just one of the ways we’re working to drive even greater advancement of women in our ranks. In concurrence with this year’s International Women’s Day, our CEO David Kenny committed to advancing the careers of women at Nielsen around the world by signing on to the LEAD (Leading Executives Advancing Diversity) Network CEO Pledge.
Learn more about our gender-focused study.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE BOARD® GLOBAL CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SURVEY
The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey, conducted in collaboration with Nielsen, polls more than 32,000 online consumers in 64 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample includes internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and gender for each country. It is weighted to be representative of internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. This survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. The Conference Board uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The Nielsen China Consumer Confidence Index is sourced from a separate survey conducted by Nielsen China, which is based on a mixed methodology survey of more than 2,400 respondents in China. The Global Consumer Confidence Survey was established in 2005.