While working at Interpret-her.com I asked a simple question to 30 midlife women about their choices in professionals. "If competency wasn't an issue, who would you rather work with, men or women?" About 90% of them said "women," but it wasn't because they were "doing it for the sisterhood" like in the 60s and 70s. These midlifers had worked with both men and women and determined that they could trust the women more.
Wow. That was an eye opener. The question then became, "Why would you trust them more?" The answers centered around female cultural attributes. "Women listen more," "they return my phone calls." "they respect me," "they follow through", "I know that they'll go the extra mile for me..."
Yes, there are men who do this as well, but apparently not enough of them for these women who have tested out both genders through the years and found that they prefer Brand XX instead of XY.
To be very clear, these women didn't hate men anymore than they hate one company's products over another. What they were saying is "This is the culture that works better for me." Or, if smart companies are listening between the lines, "If you want our business, start behaving like women."
This goes way beyond having real women featured in your ads or putting up flowery pictures in your office, although we applaud the first steps. This is about appreciating the inner spirit of women and what drives them.
The book, "In Women We Trust" (which will be available next month) starts the conversation and gives this blog it's framework. We'll be looking specifically at what things women value in their friends and how companies can adapt those values. Things such as: Consideration, Fun, Respect, Safety, Honesty, Relability, Thoughtfulness, Loyalty and of course being in their Community.
The blog will look at where women agree/disagree on the values and which companies are adapting to them well. And, since being on friendly terms is the best way to engage women, we'll also be looking at how that applies to Word-of-Mouth and women.
You can't strap on "quality" at the end of process, and you can't strap on being "female-friendly" either. For a business to be truly female-friendly, it has to internalize it throughout the company just like women do throughout their personalities.
In Women We Trust is the first conversation on how to be the kind of business that women value as much as they value their most trusted friends.