New York, NY, 08.03.2022

More than half of US women say they will be better off a year from now

On International Women’s Day, American women generally report that they have control over their lives and believe their skills are in demand – but they are not feeling the same confidence as their global peers or their male counterparts in the US.

When asked if they are confident that they will be better off in a year, a little over half (56%) of US women said yes – 10 points below the level (66%) for women around the world. US men also expressed significantly more confidence, with 69% saying they expected to be doing better in a year.

Millennial women (ages 24 to 41) in the US registered dramatically higher levels of confidence than Boom/Pre-Boom (ages 57 and older) females – 70% versus 47%. This gap was consistent with GfK’s global results, where the levels were 73% for Millennials and 52% for Boom/Pre-Boom women.

The just-released findings can be found in “American Women,” a new report from GfK Consumer Life. The study is based on 2021 interviews with 1,042 US women; a companion report, “Women of the World,” draws on 18,081 interviews with women in 18 countries.

GfK also found that nearly half (46%) of US women report feeling stress or tension at least once a week – roughly the same as US men (47%) and the global average for women (45%). The 38-point difference between US Millennial women and US Boomer women (66% vs. 28%) is particularly striking, and 8 points larger than the gap in global data.

The new report does show that 69% of women in the US say they have a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of control over their lives – though this is 6 points below US men (75%). The level for women globally is almost identical to the US (67%), and generational differences are not as significant on this question.

Close to eight in ten (78%) American women say that demand for their skills is rising or stable – with Millennials scoring highest (86%). Nearly half of Millennial (45%) and Gen Z (46%) women report that the need for their skills is increasing.

“American women, like those elsewhere in the world, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Diane Crispell, senior consultant for GfK Consumer Life and author of the report. “Despite the disruptions to their jobs and families and resulting stress, they have a generally positive outlook and care about aspects of life that speak to a broader social conscience.”

GfK Consumer Life is the longest-running and most comprehensive study of changing values and lifestyles around the world. The 25+-country database and related perspectives provide a rich understanding of key markets and categories – both today and tomorrow.   

Consumer Life defines and anticipates new consumer opportunities and emerging needs, revealing

  • what are the big consumer trends and market disruptors today, and how this is likely to change in the future 
  • how peoples' values and lifestyles are evolving – and why this may impact major product categories 
  • how the generations and other cohorts are different or the same – and what companies can do to meet their needs    


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