JWT's 'Female Tribes' Looks at Women's Influence on Culture

Survey of 4,300 Women in 9 Countries Identifies 20 Different Groups

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Female Tribes
Female Tribes Credit: JWT

J. Walter Thompson Co.'s former chairman-CEO, Gustavo Martinez, may be facing a lawsuit alleging sexist and racist remarks, but the WPP agency is trying to lead the conversation on women, with the launch of a report called "Female Tribes."

Six weeks after Tamara Ingram – Mr. Martinez's replacement – unveiled a film series called "Her Story: The Female Revolution," JWT's new "Female Tribes" report looks at the rise of "female capital" and the value that women bring to the world as leaders, wealth creators, and artists.

In the report, 76% of women surveyed say there has never been a better time to be a woman, 86% say femininity is a strength, and 76% say they make the majority of financial decisions in their households.

JWT surveyed 4,300 women between the ages of 18 and 70 in nine countries, comparing generations and geographies in their attitudes to everything from finance and sexuality to ambition and religion.

Rachel Pashley, global planning director at JWT, said, "We wanted to dramatize the diversity of female capital, and to be sure that female tribes are not seen as the province of affluent Western women. I hope this will influence every interaction with our clients, and all our creative and planning processes."

The research identifies 20 tribes, reflecting women's shifting roles in society. The Cultural Icons, for example, include Beyoncé and The Hunger Games' heroine Katniss Everdeen, while celebrating upcoming movies like "Equity" – a film about women on Wall Street – and the all-female "Ghostbusters" film.

The Asian Alphas reflect the fact that women make up two thirds of self-made billionaires in China, run eight of the ten top banks in India, and account for 34% of CEOs in Thailand.

The Teen Activist group confounds stereotypes by representing young women – like education activist Malala Yousafzai, and Sonita Alizadeh, the Afghan teen who used her rap music to escape a forced child marriage -- who are obsessed with changing the world, rather than boys and make-up.

The plan is to update the study continuously, bringing in new questions and countries to expand its reach and accommodate new trends. The countries surveyed in this year's report were the U.S., China, U.K., Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, Australia and South Africa.

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