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Jan Shubert Speaks at Wellesley Chamber’s Breakfast at Babson

The Director of Babson’s Center for Women’s Leadership and Management, Jan Shubert, spoke to about 25 guests of the Wellesley Chamber of Commerce at the second of the Babson College/Wellesley Bank Business Series.

In an interactive format, Jan spoke on “Women Business Owners, customers, Suppliers, Stakeholders and Employees: Ideas for Making a Difference” and she focused on the Town of Wellesley.

She began with an overview of the purchasing power of women in the U.S.  Women are:
•    51.2% of the workforce in the U.S.
•    Earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men
•    Account for 83% of all consumer purchases, including 80% of all health-care purchases, 91% of new home buying decisions, 93% of all food purchases, 96% of all entertainment purchases, 51% of all automotive buying and an estimated 89% of all banking/financial services decisions/purchases.
•    And those of us over 50 are the fastest growing segment, which is also financially stable and “well off”

Then she offered data on women in Wellesley:
•    Women represent 56.2% of Wellesley’s over 18 population
•    The average household income in Wellesley is $145,968, but the average salary of those employed in businesses in Wellesley is only $76,678
•    40% of all Wellesley households have kids under 18
•    There are three colleges in Wellesley, all of which have large affluent female populations:  Wellesley College with 100% full-time undergrad women; Olin with 49% and Babson with 44%.  If they need something, where do they buy it?
•    As a way of understanding them as a potential market, remember: college-age students spend on average about $757 a month on “discretionary items”; this translates into 8 billion annually on electronics, 3 billion on entertainment and 4 billion on personal care purchases.
•    Women between the ages of 25-44 are 24% of the population in Wellesley; though no hard data on at-home/working moms, the “assumption” is that they are primarily at-home and retail offerings and the opening/closing hours of businesses reflect this assumption
•    Women between 45-64 years are 23% of the Wellesley population, and 9% are over 65.

Some of Jan’s suggestions for encouraging women to Wellesley businesses are:
•    Things that draw a woman to retail outlets are the aesthetics of a place, and a sense of trust. In service businesses – like banking and insurance – in addition to trust, women seek providers who listen, and they want a sense of privacy.
•    Women notice when they see women working in management, not just in the reception areas. These are the businesses they will support.
•    Social media is reality and it is gender neutral!  If you’re not using it for advertising and marketing, you need to get on board. Remember that Facebook is local – ads are targeted to where you are.
•    Fact: Fewer than 3% of marketing directors in the U.S. are women. If you’re trying to tap into the female market, seek a plan from a female marketing expert!
•    Think collectively, rather than just individually. Collaborative ideas included: A Booksmith author appearance coupled with wine at a local restaurant; a dental consultation followed by a free/discounted pedicure – right there in the chair!; “Welcome back to school” coupons for Wellesley /Babson/Olin college women at clothing stores, but also at restaurants, etc.; transportation for students including having the “Big Bus” stop downtown and at Wellesley Farms; one women had the idea of the Zip-Car version of rental bicycles on each campus and the racks/re-charging stations downtown,  etc.

Once again, participants stayed well after the hour to speak one-on-one with Dr. Shubert.

The third and final talk in the series will be November 5 when Babson Management lecturer Peter Cohan will talk about “Capital Rising: How Capital Flows are Changing Business Systems.”