More and more studies are showing the impact of women on consumer spending: women already influence more than 85% of purchasing decisions. Over 50% of what women buy are so-called "men's" products, rather than products targeted at the female consumer. However, 91% of women feel that advertisers don't understand or hear them.
The watch business continues to operate based mostly on traditional gender stereotypes, not just in terms of product offering, but with leadership positions and boards of directors still largely occupied by men. In order to achieve the kind of market vigor and performance we want, our first step has to be figuring out how our industry can better reflect the market that it serves (or wants to serve).
So what can we do to enrich the business and culture of fine watchmaking with a greater diversity of voices and approaches across gender lines? When will we see women consumers come to fine watchmaking at the same level and proportions as their male counterparts?
At Watch Femme, we want not only to address these issues that hold us all back as an industry. We want to provide answers too.
The Watch Femme story began in February 2021. After months of pandemic-related confinement, the need for renewal was pressing. Laetitia Hirschy and Suzanne Wong, soon to be joined by Nathalie Veysset, gave life to a long-held desire by starting a bi-weekly meeting to address issues close to the hearts of women in the watch world, via the audio-only social network Clubhouse. Sessions covered topics as diverse as career development, vintage watches, inclusive marketing and product development. The community grew quickly.
In the summer, as soon as restrictions on gatherings were lifted, face-to-face meetings were organised with enthusiastic support and attendance from members of the Watch Femme community, now connected not only via Clubhouse, but also through other platforms such as Instagram, amplifying and accelerating the support network initiated by Watch Femme discussions.
The industry response was as rapid as it was warm, reinforcing our belief that the watch world is with us in recognising the core importance of women's voices in our community. Watch Femme was invited to be a part of the official programme of activities at Geneva Watch Days, WatchTime New York and Dubai Watch Week.
The Watch Femme association was born on September 14, 2021, giving substance to our initiative and providing a formal structure for action.
The association is open to all women worldwide, whether they are watch lovers or industry players. It is also open to men who share our objectives of educating, integrating and developing the watch industry together. However, in line with our founding objective to give women a more effective voice in the watch world, only female-identifying members have the right to vote in the General Assembly.
The action of the Watch Femme association is based on three pillars: education, networking and advocacy.
Watch Femme is currently active in Switzerland and North America.
Every woman can assert herself, choose her future, and change the world.
To promote inclusivity in the watch world at all levels, from consumers to human resources.
To amplify women's voices in the watch world and highlight their contribution to the industry.
To create opportunities for women, helping them to flourish in the watch industry.
CLARITY — At Watch Femme, we want to address real-life issues, which means exposing some hard truths and calling in the experts to help us define the right solutions.
BENEVOLENCE — We ask for respect and openness across our community. We value collaboration over competition, and contributing as much as you take in order to create a virtuous circle.
IMPACT — We aim for an effective and accessible network that will provide members with practical support derived from experience. Data and resources will be organised for the benefit of our community.