In my daughter’s sprawling public school district, there are nineteen fifth-graders in the accelerated math program. Only three of them are girls. Three. Out of nineteen. And I’m told it’s like that every year.
If you want more evidence that the shortage of American women in math and science fields starts early, there you have it. And judging by the ratio of male to female engineering and data science candidates we see at our company, it only gets worse. Whether it’s a socio-cultural problem, a parenting problem, or an education policy problem (it’s all three), we need to fix it.
Sorry for the rant.
Here’s what we’re seeing in the world right now:
Millennials are so influential, they’re even moving the day of Thanksgiving. Well, not entirely. But, we collaborated on a cool study with the Wall St. Journal this past week, looking at a growing segment of people who celebrate Thanksgiving earlier than the official holiday. 16% of U.S. consumers are doing Turkey Day ahead of schedule this year, with another 13% saying they would be willing to move the date in the future. Why? Because everyone is super-busy, travel costs during the real holiday are excessive, and the Sacred Cows of dates and traditions just aren’t as important as they once were. Expect this to have non-trivial implications on retail, travel, and even Thanksgiving Day NFL ratings, if the trend grows.
Workplace discrimination against LGTBQ Americans is worse than you think. We published a landmark study on Monday, in partnership with several of the leading LGBTQ advocacy groups in the country. As I told you before, we’ve already found that the population is larger than old-school methodologies had us believe. Now we’re delving into things like employment status, and the picture isn’t pretty. Despite being much more likely to have advanced levels of education, LGBTQ adults are also significantly more likely to be unemployed. In related news, 45% of Americans say it’s “Not at All Important” whether a company offers equal protections for LGBTQ employees as they do for others. Definitely check out the full report. My marketing team even let me send you an “un-gated” version. Because you’re special.
T-Mobile has the most beautiful customers. One of my favorite questions in our tracking library is the one below, which we’ve asked every day since January 2013. Our database turned up a funny correlation with this question; namely, which mobile carrier the respondents used. When we added up the attractive people and subtracted the unattractive ones, T-Mobile had the highest ratio of attractive people (3:1), by a longshot. Of the major carriers, Verizon had the largest number of “unattractive” subscribers (26%) – or perhaps just the humblest ones.
Non-meat-eaters are on the rise, particularly among young people, and the impact on the QSR category could be enormous. In our latest numbers, 12% of Gen Z consumers identified themselves as vegetarian and/or vegan, up from just 7% prior to 2017. Where do these kids eat most often when going out? Fast food joints like McDonald’s or Taco Bell. In fact, 28% of vegans say they eat at QSRs once a week or more, compared to just 23% of the U.S. Gen Pop. Restaurants who figure out how to appeal to these herbivores could have a blockbuster on their hands.
Related or maybe not, the emerging marijuana user is not your stereotypical, couch-dwelling, Dorito-inhaling, Hippie burn-out. As weed increasingly moves into the mainstream – in forms that don’t involve lighters, smoke, and tar – the profile of likely consumers is evolving dramatically. The new generation of these ‘herbivores’ are health and fitness enthusiasts, organic food buyers, and low-cal beverage fans. As recreational marijuana expands, look for product marketing to highlight its less-unhealthy-than-alcohol attributes.
Your Not-So-Random Stat of the Week
If you’re among the 25% of Americans who are either active in the U.S. Military, a veteran, or a family member who supports them, take a long bow this weekend. We are profoundly grateful for your sacrifice. And for the 74% of you who aren’t on that list, be sure to show your appreciation this weekend and beyond. We are beyond lucky to have the freedoms afforded to us by the service of others.
Hoping you’re well.