21st Century woman survey

October 22, 2012, 4:03 PM GMT+0

Women in 2012 more financially savvy

The findings of the 21st Century Woman Report, a collaboration between YouGov and Glamour magazine, show that a huge 74% of women today in the UK now worry about their financial future, a figure in stark contrast to the 46% who felt negatively about their financial situation back in 2010.

The economic climate has meant women are more frugal with money than ever before, with 88% of those women polled seeking financial independence, and just 44% now having some level of debt (down from 54% in 2006). 77% of readers have some form of cash savings, with 59% owning an ISA or other investment account, and 48% participating in a pension plan. 19% of the 20-24 age group alone have already invested in a pension.

Jo Elvin, Editor of Glamour commented: “The findings of our most recent survey with YouGov reveal a 21st Century Woman who won't be beaten by the economic challenges we all face. She is financially sound, thanks to a new pragmatic approach to her spending. Like her role model, Kate Middleton, she's relaxed about mixing designer treats with her quick fix high street pleasures. She's a smarter, more informed consumer than ever before and, for the brands that work hard to engage her, this is great news.”

Financial savvy has made women less worried

This new found financial awareness in the wake of the enduring recession has also alleviated some worries. In 2010, 63% of our 21st Century Women worried about the reality of buying their own home, a figure which has now reduced to 54% overall. There are other worries though, in regards to life plans not so easily controlled. With 80% of women polled certain they would like children, if they don’t already (although 15% don’t want any at all), many worry about their fertility and would willingly adopt if needed. 40% of all women are also using some form of anti-ageing product, including 39% of 25-29 year olds and even 14% of the under 25s.

Kate Middleton: 21st Century role model

According to the findings, the person whose style modern day women most admire is Kate Middleton, lover of high street and designer alike. In fact the report shows that women are more than twice as likely to want to be in with the Duchess’ circle of friends as with Kate Moss. Emma Watson comes a close second, followed by Victoria Beckham. Pippa Middleton is also ranked ahead of Angelina Jolie and Rosie Huntington-Whitely in the style-icon stakes, giving a good insight into the type of role model inspiring the women of today.

Savvy spenders

Today’s 21st Century Woman is a more thoughtful and considered consumer. Whilst some women are buying fewer things, they are also buying better quality. More than half the women polled would sacrifice a night out for a new outfit, and only a fifth would use their credit card to buy something they couldn’t afford. 70% of women are still buying designer fashion, whilst 100% are regularly shopping on the high street. With 80% also often shopping for friends and family including buying or choosing clothes, accessories and grooming products for their boyfriend, partner or male members of their family, their areas of shopping responsibility is extensive.

About the study

The 21st Century Woman 2012 Report is the first study to look into the ways women have changed in behaviour following the last four years of financial disruption, as well as alongside the great strides being made in the digital revolution of our consumer lives. Conducted in June and July this year GLAMOUR polled just under 4,000 women aged 16-40, using the YouGov panel of over 350,000 to reach respondents, all of whom were regular readers of at least one of the following magazine brands – in print or online: GLAMOUR, Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, In Style, Look and Grazia.

See here for the full original press release

For further information please contact Harriet Robertson, Melody Rayner or Richard Pickard in the Condé Nast press office on 020 7152 3388 / 3807 / 3474 or by email to firstname.surname@condenast.co.uk