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For Women, It’s Past Time to Be Seen
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For Women, It’s Past Time to Be Seen

DESPITE GAINS IN GENDER EQUALITY, WOMEN ARE STILL MISSING ON-SCREEN, IN ADVERTISING, AND IN BOARD ROOMS.

Across media and business, the disparity in representation for women only grows when you view the gender gap through a multicultural lens. The gap still exists despite knowing that women are more likely to carry more of the household responsibilities, homeschooling and childcare responsibilities, make the daily purchasing decisions, be less financially secure, and feel more isolated. The pandemic has only compounded the pressure women are facing today, threatening to roll back the progress we’ve made.

This year, we #choosetochallenge the gender stereotypes and messages that are shaping these cultural norms, and we are inviting everyone to do the same. Our goal is to help the media industry creative inclusive content, powered by diverse content creators not just because it matters ethically, but also because it matters to the viewers who are ultimately your consumers.

The Female Economy

Globally, women’s engagement in the labor market lags behind men by 23 percentage points according to the World Economic Forum. Yet, women’s spending power and influence should not be underestimated.

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IT’S TIME TO BE SEEN

Representation matters. The way women are portrayed on screen can affect how they are treated and understood, as well how they see themselves. In the workplace, lack of senior visibility means lack of job advancement, fewer corporate resources and lower financial security.

Of all female-led households in 2020, more than half are led by women 50-64 years old and last year they spent nearly $800 million across 25 categories, compared to $608 million for women 18 – 34 and $680 million for women 35 – 49. They are caretakers and breadwinners, with 62% of Hispanic women, 59% of Native American women and 61% of Black women over 50 being the grandparent of a child under 18. Not quite ready for retirement, these economic contributors showed an 11% increase in the past two years, taking jobs with at least 20 hours a week.

Yet women over the age of 50, who represent 20% of the population, the share of time on-screen is just 8%. That means women over 50 are 60% less likely to see themselves in programming and when they are included on-screen, they typically play stereotypical matriarchal and motherly roles. Advertisers should pay attention because women of color and 50+ are key drivers of weekly NFL ratings, talent competitions and primetime dramas with Black female leads. Plus they’re tech savvy. Women 50+ increased their internet-connected device usage during primetime by 51% year-over-year in January 2021.

HOW TO REACH WOMEN

Women are savvy consumers of news, information and other media across devices. During the pandemic, local news viewership increased 48% among women. They are also growing listeners of podcasts, making up 45% of all podcast consumers and over-indexing in podcasts about family, health, the arts, true crime and more. No matter what media they’re consuming, truth, transparency and real representation matter.

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Learn why at Nielsen, we’re choosing to challenge >>

See Why At Nielsen, We #Choosetochallenge