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Published 13 August 2012 05:14, Updated 15 August 2012 05:56
Women are tipped to control close to 75 per cent of discretionary spending worldwide within the next two decades.
That’s the startling outlook from Ernst & Young, which has used the London Olympic Games to highlight the growing power and incomes of women in spheres ranging from business to politics and sport.
Forty per cent of the competitors at the 2012 Games are women and in the case of the US team female athletes outnumbered men. Nation’s such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei, meanwhile, fielded teams with female members for the first time this year.
“Women are the largest emerging market in the world. Over the next decade, they will wield enormous influence over politics, sport, business and society,” E&Y says.
“By the year 2028, women will control close to 75 per cent of discretionary spending worldwide. Women own about a third of businesses in the world and nearly half of those business are in developing markets.”
However, while women’s total income global is expected to surge from $US9.8 trillion in 2007 to $US15.6 trillion in 2017, the accounting firm says that many businesses are yet to adjust to the emerging influence women are tipped to have on economic growth.
“Although the number of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies has doubled in the last decade, in 2012 it is still only 4 per cent of the total. In industrialised economies, just 11.1 per cent of board directors are women, and in rapid-growth markets that number falls to 7.2 per cent,” E&Y says.
“The missed opportunity is more striking in light of the difference that empowered women can make to the world. Closing the gender gap enables both public and private sector organisations to stoke measurable economic growth.”