Gabrielle Lieberman
Gabrielle leads the insights and strategy for the Consumer Trends and Social Media Research teams in the Americas. She loves digging into the data, gaining a deeper understanding of consumer behavior, and using insights to guide brands on making better business decisions.

In celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March), the Mintel Trends team of consumer experts have explored the roles that women play in society, the workforce, and the home, and predicted how that will evolve over the next decade within the context of the Mintel Trend Drivers

Here, in the second of a three-part series, we explore the role of women in North and South America through the lens of human rights and discuss how the pursuit of equality has – and will continue – to create opportunity and help break down barriers. 

It’s fitting that the campaign theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual, focusing on the importance of building a gender-equal world and the collective power that’s required in order to reach those goals. We talk a lot about the ‘collective impact’ at Mintel and the influence that comes from consumers feeling empowered to work together intentionally and passionately toward achieving a shared goal. 

Gender equality is not just a women’s issue, it’s a critical component in helping people and businesses grow. As we look ahead to 2030, consumers will demand stronger ethics and greater equality – from each other and brands. This is especially true among the ‘conscious consumer,’ a subset of US consumers who are more politically and socially active. According to Mintel research on American values, 69% of conscious consumers agree that brands have a responsibility to take a stand on issues of equal pay for equal work. 

Data from the inaugural SDG Gender Index, developed by the Equal Measures 2030 partnership, found that no country is on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. What will it take to get there, and how will consumers hold brands accountable for progress toward these goals?

Shift the conversation toward action

People need to work together toward enacting real social change toward achieving gender equality. The Mintel Trend Driver ‘Rights’ explores the power of the collective voice and how over the next decade, consumers will find their voice in the digital era. We predict that more social movements will develop, due to this increased demand for action from consumers. Brands who join consumers in partnership toward achieving these goals will earn their loyalty. According to Mintel research on ethical consumers, 70% of Canadians agree that it’s important to them that a company they buy from follows ethical business practices. 

Representation in higher-level positions

Fewer than 5% of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies have female CEOs. We know that companies benefit from having female leadership, yet women continue to face unique challenges holding them back from reaching those top positions. These are issues felt across Latin America as well, with women notably absent from the top positions. It wasn’t that long ago, in 2014, that Latin America had four female presidents, but today it has none. While broadly people may see men and women as equally capable of these top positions, breaking through these barriers and providing women fair access to opportunities for advancement is a critical step toward action. 

In the US, there have been laws enacted toward instituting a gender quota. While this may ‘fix’ the issue of creating more women leaders, it’s not getting to the core of the issue at hand of simply making sure women have the same opportunities as men do, from the very beginning. 

Celebrate female empowerment

Inspire, celebrate, empower. As women continue to fight hard for equality and an identity they feel confident in, brands have an opportunity to both celebrate these achievements and become a real champion for social change, while also having a little fun along the way. Mintel Trend Driver ‘Identity’ explores how consumers view their purchases as an expression of their identity, making it crucial for brands to not just attempt to fit into consumers’ lifestyle, but, instead, find ways to integrate into the process of consumers’ identity exploration, celebrating the freedom of consumer choice. Mintel research on marketing to young Brazilian adults shows that those aged 16-20 say they speak up when they see something that they do not think is right. And as we see more women in positions of power over the next decade (and holding themselves accountable along the way) companies just might figure out the right ways to market to women in a way that inspires, not discourages them.

Read the full ‘The role of women in 2030’ series – click here for our spotlight on women in Asia-Pacific and here for analysis on women in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.