Women in Nielsen’s Diverse Intelligence Series Is a Win for Clients and Employees

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Understanding the impact of population changes worldwide has prompted brand marketers to seek out new insights on women and holistically include multicultural women.  Nielsen responded with a study that examined the power of the female consumer and her media consumption habits.  To share the findings, the Women in Nielsen Employee Resource Group hosted a Diverse Intelligence Series breakfast entitled “The Power of She: Where We Are, How We Got There and What’s Next.”  This event uniquely anticipated and factored diversity into the gender equation, reinforcing Nielsen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.  In fact, Nielsen was inducted into the inaugural Advancing Diversity Honors, hosted by the Jack Myers KnowledgeExchange during CES earlier this year.

This event also included a lively panel discussion about the current state of women in the workforce.  Panelists included Kavita Vazirani, Executive Vice President, Insights and Measurement, NBC Universal; Nicolle Pangis, CEO, NCC Media, and Jennifer Hohman, Global CMO, FCB Global. Deirdre Thomas, Senior Vice President, Client Solutions, Nielsen, moderated the panel.  They exchanged views on the uniqueness of their career journeys as women, discussed how they acquired the skills necessary to influence organizational direction and shared thoughts on how to change the narrative around what it means to be a female boss.

I had the opportunity to interview both co-leads of Women in Nielsen (WIN), Northeast:  Judi Allen, Senior Vice President of Client Solutions and Amy Betz, Senior Vice President and Client Business Partner, Agencies.   I also spoke with Mariko Carpenter, Nielsen’s Vice President, Strategic Community Alliances, to learn more about WIN and what is required to win over female consumers and women in the workplace.

Mary Ellen Holden:  What is Women in Nielsen (WIN)?

Judi Allen: WIN started in 2011 as an Employee Resource Group (ERG).  The primary goal of each Nielsen ERG is to promote diversity and inclusion, support our associates in terms of their professional development and in doing so, build business impact.  WIN is open to all Nielsen employees with chapters across the United States and around the world, with about 10% male membership globally.

Holden:  Can you provide me with an example of WIN winning for employees?

Allen: WIN advocates for improved benefits and programs for female employees.  We were recently successful in negotiating a longer maternity leave policy.

Holden:  How does WIN benefit Nielsen’s clients?

Amy Betz: WIN works with clients to jointly address our commitment to diversity and inclusion across a range of subject areas like community outreach.  As an example, in Africa we collaborated with clients to deliver feminine hygiene products to underprivileged school age girls.  We also provide professional development and growth of women (through conferences, roundtables and networking events).  We have worked with clients to raise money for KIVA to invest in small female-owned businesses around the world.  In addition, we collaborate with client ERGs to share best practices to develop best in class programs and expand business relationships, both of which have a positive impact on our mutual business.

Holden:  What is “Diverse Intelligence?”

Mariko Carpenter:  Nielsen’s Diverse Intelligence platform showcases a rich portfolio of comprehensive reports that focus solely on diverse consumers’ unique consumption and purchasing habits that include but are not limited to communities of color: Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans.  Our Diverse Intelligence Breakfast Series recently convened an audience of senior level clients and Nielsen associates for a powerful and candid dialogue based on our unique blend of research insights supplemented by personal experiences.

Holden:  Insights are a differentiator for Nielsen.  How is Diverse Intelligence anchored in insights?

Carpenter:  The series has become an industry resource to help brands better understand unique, cultural nuances that influence consumer behavior.  Our reports provide insights on how these diverse consumer groups interact with different brands, how they interact with different devices and how they interact with media channels.  We proactively share insights from the Diverse Intelligence Series with our clients in both symposia hosted by our Employee Resource Groups and in on-site meetings.

Holden:  What are the top two research takeaways that we can share with our audience?

Carpenter:  Women represent a powerful and influential consumer group, and to win their loyalty and trust brands need to be authentic and empathetic to causes important to them.

For example, we found that 74% of women say if a product is made by a company they trust they are is willing to buy it even if it is slightly more expensive, while 56% of women are more likely to purchase brands that support a cause they care about.

Holden:  What impressed you most during the breakfast?

Carpenter: I was encouraged by all the collaboration and ideas that the women shared, and it was a reminder of why events such as this are so important -- for each of us to be the champions for other women and find ways to solve these issues in collaboration with our counterparts, the men. 

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