Posted by Renee Schmidt

What’s ‘Tech for Women’ Anyway?

Statistically speaking, women are far more tech savvy than many think. I’ve often cited a Bloomberg article on female tech prowess, and for the sake of substantiating this post, in recap fashion, let me share again those incredible statistics:

  • Women account for the majority of Web surfers and Internet shoppers.
  • “Women made up 56% of the 153.6M U.S. users who used social-networking or blogs in May 2011” and “In May, women were 57% of visitors to online retail sites” – Nielsen Co. @NielsenWire
  • “Companies that fail to cater to females risk losing out on a demographic that controls $12 trillion of the $18.4 trillion in consumer spending.” – Boston Consulting Group, @BCG_Consultant
  • “Women are driving most of the consumer activity on the Web today,” and women “are the majority of users on Facebook, on Twitter, on Zynga.” – Aileen Lee, a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers@kpcb
  • “The influx of women into the technology industry in the next five years will outpace the rate over the past decade” – Amy Millman, president of Springboard Enterprises Inc., @amillman
  • There has been a “fivefold increase in inquiries from women asking how to start a business” – Shaherose Charania founder of Women 2.0 and of Founder Labs, @shaherose
  • “While women account for half the workforce, they hold 25% of technology jobs” and “Only 8% of new technology businesses are started by women, and 5% of capital investment goes to female- owned companies” – White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett @whitehouse
Given these statistics, it’s no surprise that tech companies are seeking to gain marketshare amongst the female consumer. Bang and Olufsen, for example, recently did a a three year study on female interaction with tech, in which the company took in hundreds of women’s opinions to better focus their R&D department on a huge untapped market; women.  The results are helping them come up with refined products designed specifically for the female consumer.

I read an article today on this very subject in the Huffington Post written by Jessica Pearce Rotondi (@LaNewYorkaise), titled: Gadgets For Women Gone Wrong: Tech Companies Take Note. The article, which was the inspiration for this post, points out something SheBytes is quite familiar with, that technology is interpreted differently by the sexes, but not in the way most people would think.

Despite what anecdotal evidence will have you believe, as Jessica puts it, women’s number one concern when buying electronics is ease of use. I agree, but want to take it a step further; women are interested in practicality and want to know: “why?” and “how?” (ex: “why do I need this?” and “how can I use it?”). Men, on the other hand, are interested in features and want to know: “what?” (ex: “what does it do?” and of course, “what date will it be released?”). The layout of the categories on SheBytes alone can serve as evidence: when I (a woman) think of different forms of technology, I consider in to which part of my life the technology serves a practical use (ex: my Business, my Life or my Soul). Tech publications, which are largely authored by men, categorize more like this: Gadgets, Apps, Mobile, Gaming, etc. There is a clear difference in thinking among the sexes. And as Jessica’s HuffPost article puts it:

“Adding pink just doesn’t cut it.”

The article included ‘6 Unfortunate Attempts To Market Gadgets To Women.’ In support of the fact that: pink just doesn’t cut it, I’ve decided to share my top 3 tech for women ‘fails’ from the list.

Tech for women (blondes in particular) is pink, apparently. This is a “Keyboards for Blondes.” And that’s the actual name of the manufacturer.


An instant makeover camera? Yep, with Make-Up Mode. Casio claims it’s equipped this nifty camera with “12 levels of outstanding image processing to help smooth the appearance of your skin and soften facial shadows. The result? Your instant makeover.”

Rhinestone encrusted designer CAT5E patch cables are apparently KaBling’s way to a woman’s… laptop.

I’m not sure if the thinking behind these tech for women products is offensive, or just plain stupid.  Albeit, I guess the keyboard could make for a great gag-gift. What do you think?

Read the full article here [via]