Editor’s note: Katya Skogen is Collage Group’s director of cultural insights. Skogen is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

It’s no secret that women are key decision-makers in their households, handling the majority of the spending decisions for their families. The buying power of women in the United States is staggering. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, women control 85% of all consumer purchases, including everything from cars to health care. And while American women controlled only about 33% of total U.S. household assets (about $10 trillion) in 2020, their share is projected to grow massively by 2030 to as much as $30 trillion, according to McKinsey & Company. 

Unfortunately, many marketers are falling short of connecting with women, leaving their massive purchasing power on the table. According to research conducted by Collage Group, only about half of women say they feel well represented and understood by brands, causing brands to miss out on authentically engaging with over 70 million Americans. 

Research shows that women are asking brands to bravely engage the issues and lived experiences they care about most. Brands that champion social causes and ideas that are important to women are far more likely to gain women’s support. This approach has already proven effective, as women consumers are more likely to reward brands that back them. In fact, 47% of all women we surveyed answered that they would “go out of their way” to buy from brands or companies that support women, and 49% of multicultural women share that same sentiment. Moreover, if brands take this approach with an authentic appreciation for the broader impact of women on all other Americans, they are likely to generate a “halo effect,” meaning other consumer segments would feel engaged as allies. 

Indeed, 47% of all Gen Z consumers say they are more likely to buy from brands or companies that support w...