Over at good friend Holly Buchanan's blog, Marketing to Women Online, is this link to an article which appeared in the Miami Herald back in May. The article is all about "Hot Moms." You got it right - HOT MOMS. According to reporter Ana Veciana-Suarez, "Today's hip moms aren't trading girls' night out for rocking chairs or the Seven jeans for smock dresses." Instead, she says today's Moms are saying things like, "I'm a mother and that's the most important thing I'm going to do, but I'm also this fascinating, savvy, sexy, wonderful woman and nothings' going to change that."
Are you paying attention? Today's Mom is NOT the wife of Father Knows Best. She's NOT Donna Reed. She's not even Carol Brady. She's hip, she's hot, and she's proud.
Moving right along, we come to this recent article in The New York Times, "Wall Street's Women Face a Fork in the Road." (may require a free subscription - not sure). The story is all about professional women who work on Wall Street (the concept is lost on me, but I suspect my daughter - see pic of her and her little one here - would relate), opting to - opt out. These Wall Street Moms are putting home ahead of work, especially younger Moms. And, Wall Street just may be listening. The article says, "You can't build a great company without great people, and great people are not just white, straight men aged 25 to 40." Wow! Who said that? Apparently, Joe Gregory, president of Lehman Brothers, said that.
Work-life balance is key, which is not news - per se. I've been talking about it for over two years, and Mary Hunt, author of In Women We Trust, talks about it on her blog, in even more detail. This article goes on to note that, "Banks say they realize that women's needs are often distinct from those of their male counterparts and they are grabbling with responses." Notice how they describe the issue: "women's needs are often distinct from those of their male counterparts." I like the word 'distinct.' It shows difference in a larger context, which is what all this marketing to women advice is all about - the differences in the way men and women think and do.
Remember that although we are just people, at heart, men and women are as distinct from each other as apples and bananas. Those are both fruits - with a different form, taste, and appearance. They often co-exist in fruit salad, or in a fruit bowl. But, they are consumed separately - as a treat between meals - more often than they are thrown together in a salad or a bowl. When you look at an apple next to a banana, their differences are obvious. You don't treat them the same. You don't expect them to taste, feel, or satisfy you in the same way. You might manipulate them by combining them in a salad or some other recipe - providing a delectable new taste sensation, but in the end, you haven't changed THEM. You've merely changed the environment around them. They're still a banana and an apple.
Women will still be women, and men will still be men, no matter how much society (and some people) tries to make them androgynous. There will be distinct differences. Use those differences to your advantage. Be informed. As Patricia David, global head of diversity and talent management at Citigroup's investment banking unit says in the NY Times article, "The work force of tomorrow is at home. They are not old or retired. They are in their 40's and 50's."
They're Hot Moms...with a good head on their shoulders. And, they have Hot Dads standing right next to them saying, "Work life balance. It's not a girly-thing. It's a family thing." So, when these women reach that fork in the road, which way do you think they'll go? And, how do you think Wall Steet will react?
Find out - ask the women who come to your website.