This article originally appeared on Nielsen.com.
Last week, Nielsen hosted more than 300 influential Millennials, Black women, and corporate leaders in Los Angeles for The Power of She LA. The half-day conference was designed to empower and galvanize citizens and brands to leverage public policy and creativity to advance causes and projects that are important to the African-American community. The agenda consisted of three empowerment panels, an overview of Nielsen’s latest consumer behavior data on African-Americans, and a unique dialogue between Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Mara Brock Akil, television creator-producer and executive of Akil Productions. The conversation was moderated by Angela Rye, political commentator and CEO of Impact Strategies.
The event follows our recent emphasis on the consumer strengths of multicultural women in our annual Diverse Intelligence Series reports. The reports provide insights on how multicultural women are the main purchase decision makers in their homes, leaders in education and entrepreneurship, tech enthusiasts, and devoted users of social media. To keep the conversation going about multicultural women and their unique consumption habits, we’ve hosted client and community focused events in New York and Los Angeles that we have branded “The Power of She.”
The day’s messages of empowerment rested on a foundation of Nielsen insights. Cheryl Grace, SVP, U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement at Nielsen, gave an overview of Our Science, Her Magic, our 2017 report on African-American women. She highlighted increases in social media usage among African-American women and their ability to make their stances on brands, content, and policy go viral. These insights helped set the tone for Rep. Maxine Waters’ and Akil’s session, dubbed “A Conversation with Maxine and Mara.”
“Not only does Nielsen data help quantify the “how” and “why” of the social movements we’ve seen originate in the Black community, it proves to our clients that when they think about what’s next, they should consider the power of Black women,” said Grace. “Our ‘Conversation with Maxine and Mara’ proved that Black women—in tandem with our community leaders—can leverage our insights to effect positive change. It also showed that in order for companies to earn our business, they have to put in the time to truly learn and understand our preferences, desires, and stories.”
Congresswoman Waters leveraged her decades of policy-making experience to share how Black women can use their social and financial prowess to advance causes in their communities. She also touched on the necessity that she and her colleagues in all levels of government have an accurate understanding of Black women, which our insights help provide. Meanwhile, Akil spoke about how an increased awakening to the economic power and social influence of Black women has led to more multifaceted Black stories being told both in movies and on television. She also shared how this increase in representation has positive outcomes for everyday consumers.
The concurrent breakout sessions took deep dives into three topics designed to increase Black womens’ engagement in political and social causes. The first featured influencers who discussed best practices for leveraging social media to impact public policy. Another session featured storytellers and brand developers who advised attendees on effective personal storytelling techniques. Finally, financial experts talked about how building financial literacy can help Black women make healthy consumer choices that work best for them and their families.
For more information on Nielsen’s outreach in the African-American community, please visit www.qa.nielsen.com/AfricanAmericans.