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The Growing Women’s Economy
Trends to Watch
By Dr. Donna Hamlin, CEO
It’s time to pay serious attention to women’s wallets and wants. Referred to as the “SheEconomy” in some circles,
womens’ influence rapidly continues to grow. Consider
their growing purchasing power:
Women’s economic buying power has grown from $18 trillion in 2014 to a forecast of $24 trillion in 2020. Compare this to China’s GDP of $16 trillion for 2020 or to United State’s $22 trillion GDP for 2020.
Women-owned businesses registered worldwide represent 40% all businesses today;
37% of high net worth individuals globally are women, totaling nearly 20% of total wealth;
Women in Africa make up 70% of the agricultural production workforce;
80% of household health care spending is done by women; and
Women are 90% of primary health care decision makers for families and key influencers for friends.
As of January 2017, there were 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the U.S.—which employed nearly nine million people and generated more than $1.7 trillion in revenue. In fact, these accounted for almost 40 percent of all U.S. businesses. A quarter of these are service providers.
The growth trajectory of woman-owned businesses during the past two decade rates well over double that of businesses in general. That equates to adding 849 new woman-owned businesses every day.
With this growth in spending power, women are making a major impact on what they want to see in the world. The largest impact is the attention to health solutions, especially for heretofore unaddressed women’s health issues. The bursts in research, products and services to solve women’s health issues are the work of a fast-growing FEMTECH industry. This includes devices, products, software, platforms and services -- and any combination of these technologies --that address women’s health and wellness concerns throughout their lives. The range is wide, i including: disease detection, reproductive health, cancers, general health, pregnancy care, and healthy, active aging.
The innovation is focused on solving problems in promising ways. Some ideas are new and others are based on reimagining better solutions to traditional products in the market today. Examples of issues addressed are:
Early detection for ovarian cancer
Protection from anemia, ovarian and endometrial cancer
Dr. Sophia Yen
Replacing radiation exposure from mammograms with saliva tests to assess cancer biomarkers
Award-wining bioelectronic treatment for sinus congestion to replace medication
Early digestive health of babies and toddler with new research-based diet changes to vegetable-based food
Early detection of seizures
Dr. Rachael Kuperman
Affordable subscription plans for IVF and egg freezing with on-demand medical concierge care support
This FEMTECH market is under watch as the next big disruptor, projected to be a $50 billion dollar industry by 2025*.
This growth from $42.35 million in 2018 to a forecast of $50 billion in 2025 is fueled by newly emerging global i investments, comprised in part for new female entrants into
Investor funds with a growth in focus on this include Astia,
which both invests and mentors CEOs in these emerging
businesses. It’s investment fund both invites and engages
women investors as well as supports them with investment
education and skills. Astarte Ventures is the first venture
fund dedicated exclusively to health and wellbeing of
women and children, with a primary focus on early
intervention and prevention measures. Managing partner,
Tracy Warren, notes: “Our investment strategy has a clear
core: Women ages 25-65 with discretionary income are not
just investors. They are the influencers and customers of
health- related decisions and care.”
Trish Costello, CEO of Portfolia, established this investment fund designed for women to back innovative companies for both returns and impact on priorities women hold. She notes: “If women want specific companies in the world that address their needs, the only way to do that is for women to become the investors.”
Start-ups raised more than $1.1 billion to help improve women’s health issues as of 2017 and the investments continue to grow consistently.
There is more. The global push for gender representation
on boards and C-suites opens new opportunities for women to contribute to the strategic directions of companies. There
are differing standards about gender parity based on
national and industry sector governance codes. Some have
mandatory quotas with sanctions, some have regulatory
quotas with no sanctions and other have policies to
recommend it as a best practice. Regardless of policy
requirements, the movement is global. Now, women have
an opportunity to influence the future for businesses and
stakeholders for the future. Their diversity of thought will
bring impact to vital discussions and decisions among
executives and directors.
The potential of this market is dramatic. As women are both consumers and investors in solutions that meet their needs, this will be an important industry to support for time to come. These emerging companies need top talent and professional services to help them improve the quality of life for people in the world. We support clients in this industry to ensure they grow and reach their goals. Kristin Speer, Managing Director at Westwood and Wilshire notes: “In parallel to the women rising in corporate America for the last two decades who are ready for board service, is a rising tide of fearless women founders who break gender and stereotype boundaries as entrepreneurs. To support our new-technology company clients, we aggressively seek out women of exceptional talent. More than 60% of Westwood & Wilshire placements last year were women and/or diversity candidates.”
Our observation is: women mean business. We are excited by the innovation and promise of these dedicated entrepreneurs and executives and we aim to support them with finding ideal talent, advice, executive coaching and professional services as they bring impactful, valuable solutions to market.
We welcome any executive or board director in this emerging industry to meet with us to discuss how we can help.
Westwood and Wilshire and Boardwise, Inc. work together to meet the needs for talent at the tables of executives and board directors, as well as to provide consulting services, leadership coaching and education on vital topics in governance and management.
About Westwood & Wilshire: Recognizing that people are an organization's top asset, Westwood & Wilshire is passionate about delivering premier talent to the world’s most innovative companies. We focus on companies ranging from VC-backed start-ups to mid-sized commercial entities, and our assignments span from C-Suite to mid-management. With offices in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and Seattle, we serve our clients on a local, national and global basis.For more informaton, contact: KristinSpeer Kristin@westwoodwilshire.com;