As people move through life, they search for signposts along the way. They search for those rare pieces of intelligence that give them a gut-level feeling of confidence about what to do next. Today’s women are particularly adept at reading these signposts, which range from magazine articles, to movies, to conversations with a people they trust. They trust their instincts and aren’t afraid to make critical decisions.
Women today are bold and confident, unapologetic for who they are and the things they like, and vast in their ability to influence nearly every aspect of modern life.
In spite of the heavy load that most women shoulder, and the torrid pace of living, the bad years are now past, and a resurgence of hope seems to be building. With guarded smiles reacting to each new piece of positive news, they listen intently for the rhythm of hope that beats continuously in their lives.
Women create our culture. They give birth to each new generation and heavily influence nearly every major decision being made today. Its critically important that we pay close attention to the drivers that are influencing the emerging new thinking class of bright articulate women wanting to make a difference in today’s world.
1.) The Emerging New Value Set – Unlike the past generation of baby boom women with their idealistic dreams, the torch has been passed to a younger generation who views the world quite differently. While they still dream of finding the perfect relationship, nearly three-quarters think marriage should be for life, they are quick to take action when change is needed. Upwards of 75% of all divorces are initiated by women. They know the safety nets if things go wrong.
Buoyed by strong female role models like Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, and Uma Thurman in movies like Erin Brockovich, Cold Mountain, and Kill Bill has spawned a generation of powerful ambitious women, noble in their purpose, driven to succeed. They need to feel real, genuine and authentic, while at the same time, a new class of elegance is returning to the workplace with classier styles and appearance signaling the end of the survival years. This new woman is a member of 3-5 book clubs, is more fiscally conservative, enjoys going to martini bars, and is looking for their next date on Match.com.
2.) Virtual Families – The new reality is that more people today are part of second marriages than first marriages. With a growing number of people living in transitional relationships, multiple divorces, and children from multiple parent combinations, the social fabric has evolved into a culture of mixed parenting, confusing lines of authority, distributed and often shifting responsibilities resulting in an often-confused sense of ethics and morality. By default, mothers are working more and more as arbiter of the truth, sorting through competing value sets to make the final call.
People are buying houses sized for “peak demand” times when all of their virtual family members are home. With the relentless pace of work, family, and school, kids often find themselves in a constant state of movement, shifting from parent one, to parent two, to grand parents, to friends, to sitters. This lack of permanence manifests itself in a number of ways with kids carrying the “need to move on” attitude with them throughout the rest of their lives, but also has prepared them for living in the virtual world stemming from their virtual childhood.