Forum highlights how women empower themselves as entrepreneurs, consumers | News
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma – A forum held at a regional university in Northeastern Oklahoma provided insight into how the role of women has changed over the years and what to expect in the future.
The “Mingle & Jingle: Women in Consumerism” forum was held in the Northeastern State University Ballroom and was hosted by the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce. Dr Tena Wooldridge was the guest presenter.
“It’s something that is close to my heart. I love you girls and I totally love to celebrate with you. I am not here to compete with you; I am here to celebrate with you and to celebrate the fact that we are business women, ”said Angela Tinsley of Remax Select.
Tinsley said women bring the elements of elegance and class to the community.
“Thank you so much for doing what you do in our community and serving in our community, and for celebrating that as businesswomen we don’t have to compete with each other”, a- she declared.
Wooldridge said the evening will focus on women in general and as business owners and consumers, and why that matters.
“The consumer landscape has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, and that’s evident because technology has changed over the past 25 years,” Wooldridge said.
She explained that people are no longer consumers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“I don’t need to plan my day around when the grocery store is open, when I can drop by and buy something. Now I can shop 24/7 online and it’s making a difference for all of us, ”he said.
Wooldridge said that since consumerism has changed, that means corporate brands have changed as well. She said advertisers tend to view women as a secondary group of people and men make the buying decisions.
“Over the past two decades, we’ve seen more and more women graduate with degrees. Fifty-eight percent of all degree holders are women, and that number is not going down, ”Wooldridge said.
Women, as consumers, want to know how spending decisions are made, and Wooldridge said it just depends – for a number of reasons.
“If you have someone in your household who is considered the primary breadwinner, the decisions are pretty much split. The female makes a third of the decisions, the male makes a third of the decisions, and then together they make another third of the decisions, ”she said.
Wooldridge said a woman earns too much money with her partner 40% of the time, which is considered a major change over several decades.
“Eighty percent of all consumer purchases are influenced by a woman, and that’s a remarkable and staggering number,” she said.
Women are more likely to receive validation and seek reviews from other consumers, as opposed to advertisers.
“Women-owned businesses – they have more people of color, they pay higher wages than any national brand. If you are a woman-owned business, you are responsible, along with other women-owned businesses, to help bridge the gap between wealth and equity for all marginalized populations, ”she said.
Wooldridge has said that in order to know where to go women need to know where they have been, and she has shown a number of commercials throughout the century. Most of these advertisements depicted women as subject matter to their husbands. These blurbs showed women as sex objects as a way to attract more consumers, and Wooldridge said that hadn’t improved.
“What’s wonderful about our current situation is that brands are under the microscope,” she said. “Now, if you want to pull those kinds of shots, people are going to start calling you on it, and the women are going to start sticking together about it.”