The purchasing power of women

Anna Allgaier

Regardless of gender or identification, how we spend is constantly changing. We’ve seen a noticeable shift in the online world following the pandemic; we’re making shopping decisions on social media, and we’ve stopped confining our spending to where we live.

The ever-growing purchasing power of women is one of those “changes'' that isn’t going anywhere. Global consumer data company Rwazi’s recent report shows that women control over $30 trillion in consumer spending worldwide. That number is expected to bump up to $40 trillion by 2030 alone.

The influence and impact women have on the global economy is undeniable, but the world has catching up to do. They're voting with their wallets and looking for brands and companies that practise long-overdue values that should be reflected in all aspects of life; gender equality, diversity, authenticity, and transparency, to name a few. We’re working on that at Wise.

Here's how

How women spend

The UN’s 2023 “Gender Snapshot Report” pulled together data that shows how far we still have to come as a society. 54% of countries still lack laws in ALL critical areas of gender equality. This affects economic equality too, with women of colour and transgender women suffering the most.

On a global scale, 89% of women are the primary household caregivers, and they perform 75% of unpaid work around the world. Translating into an average of 4 hours to 25 minutes a day on domestic, care and household work.

Women are twice as likely to have to report gender and marital status discrimination as men. And, to level out the playing field $360 billion USD would need to be spent every year to accomplish gender equality through initiatives and policy changes.

Statistically speaking, women have been hit harder by the cost of living crisis, in spite of the fact they’re expected to own 75% of the discretionary spending market by 2028.
78% of women say they make the purchasing decisions for their household, 91% are responsible for buying new homes, and 70% of travel decisions and payments fall under their wallet choices too.
I’m aware I’ve gone hard with the numbers.

**TLDR: We spend the most. **

Being the change they want to see

The world has a long way to go in all areas of equality and social change, and women are voting with their wallets.

“Women are a compass for a changing world. In the same way that women’s needs are driving changes for men in the workplace (for example, the evolution of maternity leave into parental leave and increased job flexibility options for all genders), women are driving changes in the consumer marketplace that younger generations not only appreciate but also expect. One example: the desire to buy from companies that make a positive social impact.” - Forbes Magazine

Women are now looking for values like transparency, diversity, sustainability, social responsibility and authenticity from the brands and companies they buy from. So, companies would benefit from equal opportunities for women and representation within the workplace.

Rwanzi Founder and CEO, Joseph Tutakangwa, used the success of Rihanna’s, Fenty Beauty as an example.

“Recent data shows that women of colour are a growing demographic in the consumer goods industry, with significant purchasing power and influence. The latest Rwazi Consumer Tracker reveals that while 93% of African women enjoy shopping and experimenting with new products, they also express the desire for brands to cater to the diversity of the population by tailoring their products and advertising.”

Another TLDR: Hello, companies of the world. We’d like lovely, ethical, honest stuff pls xoxo 💋

What Wise is doing about it

We’re founded on transparency, and based on money without borders, aiming to make international transfers eventually free.16 million people use Wise across the world, with 100,000 new users joining every week.

Wise is a global, modern company, and the diversity of the team needs to mirror that. Over 50,000 people work at Wise from 125 nationalities in 17 global locations. But there’s still work to be done, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team work closely with all departments to make this happen.

Back in 2020, Wise signed on to the HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and promised to prioritise women in leadership roles.

“Overall our representation of women at Wise is 51%, and in our Lead population 47% are women. Our middle leadership levels are 41% women. Therefore our focus has been on increasing our representation of women in our most Senior levels (Level 8+, Director and above) which is currently at 26%. Our aspirational goal is to reach 40% by 2025.” - Isabel Naidoo, Chief People Officer

At present women make up 40% of the executive leadership team and 38% of the board, with continued efforts to grow these percentages and create an environment that caters to the needs of all its employees. The Women in Engineering community and WiseWomen community support women, trans women and non-binary Wisers not just by creating a safe space but by introducing networking opportunities, training sessions, regular speaker events and more. 10 other communities, created and run by employees, like The Black Wisers Network, Disability at Wise, and Queerwise (LGBTQIA+) are there to “foster an inclusive environment and a sense of belonging at the workplace.”

Hybrid and flexible working hours, diversity and inclusion objectives and enhancing the inclusivity of products and services are instrumental to

We have also evolved our hybrid working model. We know that teams and individuals all have different needs depending on what they need to deliver, as well as their personal circumstances. Rather than focusing solely on the number of days our Wisers work in the office or at home, we’re focused on using the most appropriate place for a given activity and for specific roles. We also offer flexibility for teams to set their own guidelines and for individuals to set their own schedule within them.

Have a read of Wise’s equal opportunity statement here:

We’re people without borders — without judgement or prejudice, too. We believe teams are strongest when they are diverse, equitable and inclusive.
We’re proud to have a truly international team, and we celebrate our differences.
Every Wiser should feel that they can be themselves at work.
Inclusive teams help us live our values and make sure every Wiser feels respected, empowered to share their contributions towards mission zero and able to progress in their careers.

Having diverse teams that reflect our diverse customer base helps us build a better product. We can be more creative and empathetic to our customer’s needs and make sure we leave no-one behind on our journey to mission-zero.

Check out other initiatives here

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This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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