Women are the next growth market. You hear it all the time now, but what does it mean? We are not only talking about women as a target group for products that have traditionally been targeted or designed for men, as most things are. The shift that is happening right now is much, much greater than that.
“We rarely stop to think about the ways that patriarchy shapes our daily lives as an invisible organizing principle. We’re largely unaware of the way the female perspective is quietly omitted in design, business, technology, clothing and even our cities.” says Danielle Kayembe, female futurist and entrepreneur.
So, if the world has been largely designed by men for men, and we now have this sudden awareness of it, can we simply expect women to jump into the creator’s seat and start designing?
In most cases, unfortunately not. We have been brought up into the code of patriarchy, thus learned to depress our ideas and not trust our insights. The whole women’s empowerment discussion revolves around lack of confidence, which is understandable. We’ve been told to keep our silly little ideas to ourselves (and just look pretty) for over a millennia.
I meet hundreds of women in our Lifeworking groups, so I have an insight into the wider world of women and how this lack of trusting our own path manifests itself in everyday life. We haven’t only learned to depress our ideas, but we have adopted the patriarchy code of conduct to fit in, to lean in, and — to ‘make it in the man’s world’. We have lost the guidance of our inner voice and become very confused about who we are and what makes us thrive.
The good news is that all of this is now rapidly changing.
When women awaken to the realisation that their dreams matter our confidence grows.
At DrivenWoman we start the journey by defining our own measure of success. That is the key. Our definition is often radically different to the success image offered by the male dominated society or hierarchical corporate structures.
Our confidence grows when we realise that we have been chasing a someone else’s dream and that our own vision is valid. There is no shame in wanting more than just a big house, a big tittle and the corner office. The feminine vision includes time with family, living in balance with our environment and making a positive impact to others.
I believe impostor syndrome is nothing more than sticking to a false dream. We have been trying to build our confidence within a system where we can’t find or express our true purpose. Without deep connection to who we are confidence is just a fake facade.
“The number of women looking for purpose is growing. Regardless of age or stage of life, women are seeking an identity and a legacy that is all their own outside their children. What these women want isn’t more money – they seek self-actualization, contributing their intrinsic gifts to make a difference. Women inherently, biologically, thrive on connection and supporting others, so our desire for purpose is innate.” says Carin Rockind, leading happiness expert and women’s purpose coach.
So before women can start re-creating the world, we must reconnect to who we are. Once we stop letting others belittle our ideas we end our struggle and start thriving. Completely new wave of women centered innovation will grow out of this newly found confidence.
Brands helping women to find their purpose are the next big growth market.
Superhuman Connective asked 177 women women entrepreneurs (or women just about to launch their business) why they started their own business and the number one reason was to create work that is more fulfilling. And the two most important statements about their business were ‘doing work I enjoy’ and ‘having flexibility to do what I want’.
The rapid rise of flexible working concepts such as Digital Mums and Mums Enterprise Roadshow shows how women can gain control over their lives and not simply be defined by motherhood after having children.
“There is certainly a movement happening, you can feel it. For too long women have felt that they can’t use the talents and experience they worked so hard for, whether that’s in business, returning to work or retraining. We’re seeing fast growth as we go from attracting hundreds to our events to thousands in just over past 12 months.” summarises Lindsey Fish, founder of Mums Enterprise Roadshow.
Not surprisingly investors are circling this growing industry.
US based women’s club The Wing has just raised $32 million in series B funding as it scales up its co-working spaces designed for women. And in London women’s co-working space Blooms London, created by Lu Li, has just launched to an eager audience. Albright Club is following in it’s heals launching early 2018.
We can see growth of new types of women’s networks aiming to catapult it’s members into a new tangent. LeanIn Circles, created by Sheryl Sandberg, eWomenNetwork, HubDot and Levo League to mention a few.
And in the past couple of weeks we have seen the DrivenWoman message resonate on a larger scale as we’ve been recruiting Group Leaders to start our Lifeworking groups across the UK and Switzerland. I knew we had created something special but I have to be honest, I’ve been absolutely blown away by the response… And the requests keep coming in from all over the world!
Our network that brings women together to support one another to find their authentic voice and follow their calling is now ready to spread across the globe. I hope you will join us on this incredible journey.