This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) serves as an important reminder that the future of the global economy, and the wealth industry in particular, is unquestionably tied to the increasing engagement and success of women. While it’s one day of the year, IWD reflects and recognizes over a century of progress. In the world of wealth management, the rising power of women investors is a fact and an opportunity that needs to be embraced, respected, and celebrated all year, every year.
First established in Europe in 1911 (long before women even had the right to vote in Canada), International Women’s Day is observed globally on March 8th. According to the IWD website, the day recognizes the myriad and multitude of achievements and contributions made to our economic, social, cultural, and political worlds by women, as well as marking “a call to action for accelerating women's equality”.
“Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up with you.” ~ Beyonce
2024’s IWD theme is “Inspire Inclusion”, a noteworthy goal, and timely, especially when one reflects on the inspiring run that woman are on, particularly in the critically important and influential areas of entertainment and media. Consider that:
- The “Barbie” movie broke several box office records and has grossed over $1.5 billion, making it the highest-grossing film by a female director and Warner Bros’ highest-grossing film in the U.S. - ever.
- Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour was an incredible success, earning close to $600 million globally, with 2.7 million fans attending 56 concerts in 39 cities, and generated an estimated $4.5 billion for the American economy – nearly as much as the 2008 Olympics did for Beijing.1,2
- Taylor Swift’s 53-concert sold-out Eras Tour is expected to have earned the singer over $4 billion – the most ever from a single tour for any musical act. According to CreditSights, T-Swift’s tour drove a notable improvement in hotels’ financial performance when it came to town – called the “T-Swift Lift”.
Wonder Women and wealth – the pendulum has swung…
While very noticeable in their dominance and success, these Wonder Women performers and influencers in the entertainment world are only some of the many examples of how the economic importance and power of women has become manifest over just the past few decades. Consider that:
- Globally, over 80% of purchase decisions are made by women, who contribute close to 40% of global Gross Domestic Product.
- Female representation in the workforce continues to rise. According to Pew Research Center analysis of government data, in the U.S. women accounted for more than half of the college-educated labour force by late 2019, and the numbers are similar in Canada.3
…and will keeping swinging higher
One critically important area where women continue to power forward and assert their place is in the world of wealth. Women investors are a powerful presence today, and that’s only expected to increase in the future:
- American women control more than $10 trillion in assets (a third of U.S. financial assets), and according to a recent study conducted by McKinsey, this amount is expected to triple by 2030, in part due to inheritance of financial assets from Baby Boomer men.
- In Canada, by 2028, it is estimated that women will control $4 trillion in assets – almost doubling the $2.2 trillion they control today. This phenomenon is compounded by trends that women themselves are generating more wealth through greater participation in the workforce and entrepreneurship.
Inspired by AND inspiring change
Influence can bring change, and women’s growing impact in the wealth world is no different. According to the same McKinsey report, 70% of women inheriting wealth are likely to change their investment advisor, not satisfied to simply accept their parents’ or spouse’s advice provider. This suggests that women will not only be inspired to continue to stake their proper claim in all areas of their lives, but that the wealth industry must evolve – and rapidly – to meet their rising expectations and needs.
The firms of today that are meeting this ever-growing opportunity recognize the need for a more female-focused and nuanced understanding of the goals of their female clients in areas such as health, lifestyle, and legacy. On the other side of the coin, they must understand and respond to the fact that women also deal with unique challenges, such as typically living longer than men, and that they often have less saved to support them in their retirement years due to the wage gap and fewer years in the workforce (often because of pregnancy and child rearing).
At RBC Dominion Securities, we embrace and celebrate the advancement and achievements of women across the globe – on March 8th and throughout the year. On this IWD, the RBC lion roars in support of and alongside all women to celebrate their progress – and the even greater achievements to come.
1“Yelp coins the ‘Beyonce bump’ for the economic halo created by the pop star’s Renaissance Tour”. Fortune Magazine (July 19,2023).
2“Beyonce’s Silvery, Shimmering Renaissance”. New York Times (September 27, 2023).
3“Women now outnumber men in the U.S. college-educated labor force”. Pew Research Centre (September 26, 2022).
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