Not just ‘Dreaming Crazy’ – the sense of empowerment among women

Nike’s ‘Dream Crazier’ ad featuring Serena Williams, is the latest in a number of recent efforts by prominent brands to openly challenge traditional, entrenched gender expectations. As part of its strategy to make a push for women, ‘Dream Crazier’ is the only ad that Nike has run on national TV in the US so far this year, investing an estimated $7 million since the ad debuted during the Oscars on February 24, 2019. An obvious question to pose is to what extent is this approach reflected in changing perceptions by the sexes?



Figures from our TGI consumer data reveal that in a number of ways, young women today feel a sense of empowerment and freedom. However, in some instances there is still a way to go to match the levels enjoyed by men.

A more careerist approach

For example, when it comes to career aspirations, US women aged 18-34 are 49% more likely to say they want to get to the very top in their careers and 31% more likely to aspire to set up their own businesses one day. However, this is still short of the 56% and 45% of 18-34-year-old men who agree with these respective statements.

A global perspective: high ambitions in emerging markets

In addition, within a more global context, the proportion of young women seeking to get to the top their career is not especially high, relatively speaking, in the United States or in a number of other western markets, including Great Britain (52%), Italy (60%), Germany (55%) and France (51%). Findings from our TGI Global Quick View data, which explores the behavior of connected consumers across 22 of the most dynamic markets around the world, reveal that young women in India are 27% more likely than those in other markets to agree ‘I want to get to the very top in my career’.

Young women in Turkey, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil are also over 20% more likely than the average connected 16-34 year old woman across these markets to agree with this attitude. With the major emerging economies of the BRICS directly addressing (from last year) gender disparities through the creation of the BRICS Gender and Women’s Forum, this may have helped to engender, and continue to support, an increased sense of empowerment and ambition among women within these markets and beyond, with a promise of realization that may not have felt realistic just a few years ago.

An evolving sense of what it means to be beautiful

Fundamental perceptions of self-worth have also been shifting, with young women more likely than men to agree with the statement ‘To me, being beautiful means asserting my personality, my difference.’ US women aged 18-34 are 32% more likely to share this sentiment, compared to men of the same age who are 3% less likely to agree.

So there are reasons to be optimistic on International Women’s Day of a growing sense among women of what they feel empowered to achieve and how they view their sense, even if it is important to recognize that in many respects there is still much to be done.

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