She is pretty. She is smart. She is pretty smart!

2013-09-12 07:52

{a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=woman+winning&search_group=#id=142556383&src=2duwy2M1qEpqcW2FmKkwEg-1-13"}Women: For The Win (Shutterstock.com){/a}

Let’s talk some hardcore economics here for a moment.

The formula to calculate the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country is:

GDP = C + I + G + X - Z

The C in the formula refers to consumption expenditure by households. This is normally the largest component of the GDP. Keep this at the back of your mind as you read on.

If leadership is about influencing, then the ladies are right up there with the best of them. Say you want to buy a property. You do a search on ‘estate agents’ in the area. What are the chances that you will make contact with a female estate agent? Probably 70% or more. People feel more comfortable dealing with women as they are regarded as homemakers and are thus seen as more trustworthy. After all, a home must be homey and who makes a home homey? The ladies of course! Even the decision to buy the house is probably influenced 70-80% by the moms. The bond may be in the dad’s name but he only bought the house to make her happy. She really liked so he agreed to buy it. Because when she is happy, everybody is happy. Happy wife, happy life.

Say you are looking for a job. You do a search for recruitment agents. I would be very surprised if you will get to deal with a male recruitment consultant. It is really an exception when you walk into the recruitment firm’s offices and gets interviewed by a male. There’s nothing wrong with it of course, but you just don’t expect it. Senior executives of large corporates in South Africa (everywhere?) are often (still) male and they prefer to deal with female recruiters. It’s just a preference. So their male counterparts battle as they are not able to turn on the charm. If they do, it would be considered highly inappropriate yet the female recruiters do it all the time and get away with it.

Let’s talk about school then. In most families it is the moms who decide what little Johnny gets for lunch at school. She is the one that is most concerned about his nutrition and so from the colour of his lunch box to the little sweet treat is being decided by mommy. When little Johnny grows it is his mommy that he tells that his shoes are too small. Not to forget the rest of the school uniform. She decides when and where the new school uniform must be bought. And, have you noticed how expensive those uniforms are?

The other well known fact of course is that women talk a lot easier than men. They can strike up a conversation easily for 15 minutes whereas men battle to do so for 2 minutes. When men have exhausted the sport topic then there is not much to talk about. Women are thus far more powerful with word of mouth. Men keep things to themselves whereas women share their experiences. If a woman had a bad experience, say at the restaurant at night, within hours her mom knows about. By tomorrow 3-5 of her friends (and colleagues) know about it. And so it goes on and on.

Now onto shopping. No contest here as well. Who makes the decisions or influence the decisions on food and clothing? That’s right. She mostly decides that what everyone must wear including dad. She is also more informed about fashion trends and therefore better equipped to advise of what is cool and what not. Dads may well not agree with the choices but does not have enough knowledge to articulate his objections. And so her decisions stand. In case he is brave and wants to say something, the kids may well jump in quickly to repudiate his opinions. The result? He does not go there again, not even once.

Holidays. Don’t we all love holidays? Spending care free time on the beach, playing, eating, sleeping, and reading to our hearts’ content. Let’s ask then: who suggested the well-deserved break, made the booking and phoned around to check availability? Probably the mom. Dad may well pay the deposit via Internet banking or is being told that the final go ahead is his but his decisions are based entirely on his wife’s recommendations. It is positioned like that but in reality it’s hers. Other seemingly unimportant decisions like where they will stop for breakfast are also decided by her, as this is driven by the kids and as she is closer to them and their needs, her choice carries more weight. He gets to drive the family to their holiday destination and back.

So if the future of business is social as experts tell us, then who is best equipped to take the leading role in influencing? Ah, you see.

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