The business argument around why companies should consider women while designing products is strong: Women control 85% of consumer spending.
Yet industry, from the top to the bottom, tends to be male-centric. Around 85% of all designers and engineers are men. This leads to a discrepancy between who is designing products (men) and their values and needs and who is purchasing products (women) and their values and needs. This is why 4b exists—to help companies better understand and design for women.
Even in product categories where it seems safe to disregard women’s opinions, the ladies can have a surprising amount of control around what is purchased and what is not. For example, women purchase 60% of men’s sporting wear. You may be making a male product, but need to understand how women assess the entire environment surrounding the product in order to sell it well.
A recent NPR story discusses how this is true for the car industry, even in Saudi Arabia, where women can’t drive the cars but drive the purchasing decisions about cars: http://www.npr.org/2015/11/20/456751970/women-dominate-car-buying-decisions-few-hold-auto-executive-jobs
- whitney hopkins