As most developed markets continue to struggle with the lingering challenges of the recession, many global companies are looking toward emerging markets for relief, as well as growth. BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are proving to be dynamic economic growth machines for the world. Many economists surmise that by 2050, the BRICs will become the world’s economic superpower.
As such, many companies are beginning to consider how BRIC countries can help move their business forward. Sociological implications, such as women being the demographic dominator, not only in population numbers but also in education levels, require that businesses look towards women to drive industry growth and commerce.
Women are becoming the dominating force as highly qualified candidates for leadership positions within BRIC countries. For instance, 55 percent of college degrees are going to women in these emerging markets. While in the U.S. the number is just less than 60 percent, which indicates that these emerging markets are quickly catching up with leading nations.
An increasing level of leadership roles with major companies will be filled by women due to demand for highly skilled managers within these regions. It will be imperative that we as marketing communications professionals understand how we need to approach these new leaders — from their cultural and business sensibilities, to their personal growth drivers — if we are to win and retain their business. For instance, women business leaders in China work an average of 70 hours per week, even with family constraints. In many respects a Chinese woman’s career comes first while family obligations are secondary or forgone altogether. In addition, reputation is very important, from both a position of influence and ethicality, and Chinese female business leaders will look to do business with companies that offer strong attributes in these areas. Marketing communicators need to understand these ideological imperatives in order to provide the appropriate team dynamic, level of responsiveness and attention that this type of client will require, if not demand.
Many key businesses that are anticipating the changing tide of professionals in these markets have developed new initiatives to inspire and foster growth in female leadership. Companies like Google, Siemens and Ernst & Young are just a small sample of the businesses that are investing resources to create opportunities for women in order to facilitate their companies to effectively move forward within these regions.
As U.S. and European dominance wanes, marketing communications professionals operating within a global business sphere need to ensure that we educate ourselves on the unique differences that reside between developed and developing countries. We need to increase our awareness of how women impact change in these regions and what we can offer to this rising leviathan that they are not able to provide for themselves.