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Anthem Worldwide Survey Reveals Women Want to Follow Their Own Motivations

December 13, 2011

San Francisco, CA

Anthem Worldwide, the brand development division of Schawk (NYSE: SGK), whose integrated global network provides innovative solutions to articulate, unify and manage brand impact to create compelling and consistent brand experiences, announced the results of its latest study in the white paper entitled, “Today’s Women: Newfound Power, Persistent Expectations.”

As part of this paper, Anthem considered broad cultural and attitudinal trends across three generations of women—Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers—and found that while women are seeking to embrace their newfound power, there are persistent expectations for women to do it all, look good, and be nice, regardless of their generation or their age. Anthem’s study evaluated both the expectations women feel are put upon them—the things they feel they have to do that are externally driven—and their personal motivations—the things they feel they want to do that are internally driven. The paper includes findings from Anthem’s study conducted by Ipsos, a survey with a national sample of 1,033 females from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel.

WHAT THEY RATED. The survey had the women rate a number of factors that related to the areas of “Do It All”, “Look Good” and “Be Nice,” along with factors that were more personally driven, spanning from “I believe I’m expected to ‘have a career’ and ‘make sure the household runs smoothly,’” to “I believe I’m expected to ‘be attractive’” and “I believe I’m expected to ‘be nice.’” Other personally driven factors ranged from “be happy” and “be healthy” to “follow my own personal motivations” and “have balance in life.”

SUMMARY FINDINGS. The study revealed that most women across all age groups feel expected and motivated to do many things across all the dimensions tested: the majority of the factors had 50% or more women agreeing that they were expected and motivated to do them.

Interestingly, while some differences were found in the percentages of women believing they are motivated as opposed to expected to be certain things, the percentages are closer in number than one might imagine. However, as Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever note in Women Don’t Ask – Negotiation and the Gender Divide, socialization might be the answer for this: “Socialization does such a thorough job of teaching little girls their proper role that by the time they reach adulthood, they believe that their gender-appropriate impulses and behaviors … are intrinsic expressions of their personalities rather than learned behavior.”

Highlights of Anthem’s study include:
• 86% of female respondents thought that women should both pursue their own personal motivations and be able to make their own choices and not be judged by them.
• There is a significant difference between the percentage of women who feel compelled to follow their own personal motivations and those who believe they are expected to—76% vs. 62%.
• There are more women motivated to have balance in life (75%) and be fulfilled (73%) compared to those motivated to do it all (44%).
• 70% of women are motivated to be financially independent, compared to 49% who are motivated to have a career.
• 77% of women feel expected to make sure the household runs smoothly, and a close 74% are also motivated to do so.
• 63% of women feel expected and a close 59% are also motivated to be attractive.
• Over 80% of women feel both expected and motivated to be nice.
• More Millennial women felt expected to be and do things compared to other generations, across almost all factors tested. Related, almost 40% of them feel added pressure to do more these days given all the news in the last two years about the rising power of women.
• Generation X women have the biggest gap—12 percentage points—between those who feel expected to do it all and those who are actually motivated to do so (61% and 49% respectively).
• Almost 50% of Generation X women agreed, “I wish companies provided services that would help me fit everything into my day,” and almost 50% of these women also said they’d pay more for products that make their life easier.
• 61% of Baby Boomer women are motivated to be in a relationship.
• Almost 60% of Baby Boomer women feel expected to be attractive and feminine, despite feeling forgotten by the beauty industry.
• About 60% of the women in our survey agreed that media, entertainment, and marketing advertisements don’t accurately represent women of today.

CONCLUSIONS. The question becomes whether the three persistent cultural expectations of “do it all, look good, and be nice” are aligned with women’s true motivations.

Marketers have a choice: to continue to play into these expectations that seemingly won’t go away, partly due to marketers’ own efforts, or to make the leap to more realistic communication with women that taps into their true motivations, an approach that could have more power and success in today’s more authentic consumer world.

“Marketers have an opportunity,” said Kathy Oneto, vice president, brand strategy, of Anthem’s San Francisco office, “to evolve their approach by having more authentic dialogue with women—dialogue based on a foundation of deep, empathic understanding rather than based on simply an informed vantage point that is often out of sync with women’s true motivations. Speaking directly to women’s personal motivations, given their preference to follow them, could prove most powerful.”

Click to read more and access “Today’s Women: Newfound Power, Persistent Expectations.” http://www.schawk.com/knowledge-center/white-papers

Anthem Worldwide is the brand development division of Schawk (NYSE: SGK). Anthem's integrated global network provides innovative solutions to articulate, unify and manage brand impact to create compelling and consistent brand experiences. We do this by aligning our strategic, creative and executional talent worldwide with the business needs of companies seeking a competitive advantage. Anthem offers a full range of branding and design services through our network of world-class design professionals in 11 cities, Anthem is presently located in Chicago, Cincinnati, Düsseldorf, Hilversum (The Netherlands), London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, and York (U.K.). For more information on Anthem, please visit http://www.anthemww.com. Follow Anthem on http://twitter.com/anthemworldwide.

Schawk, Inc. is a leading provider of brand development and deployment services, enabling companies of all sizes to connect their brands with consumers. With a global footprint of operations in 21 countries, Schawk helps companies create compelling and consistent brand experiences by providing integrated strategic, creative and executional services across brand touch points. Founded in 1953, Schawk is trusted by many of the world’s leading organizations to help them achieve global brand consistency. For more information about Schawk, visit www.schawk.com. Follow Schawk on www.brandsquare.com and twitter.com/BrandSquare.