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What Will Women Sacrifice To Keep Their Mobile Devices?

TORONTO, March 16, 2011 – Nearly half (46%) of Canadian women admit they could not go without their mobile devices for even a week, according to the 2011 MasterIndex™ on Women and Technology released today by MasterCard Canada. The report indicates that women have become so dependent on their mobile phones, MP3 players and even digital cameras that they are willing to sacrifice the things they love in order to keep them.

The report reveals Canadian women over the age of 18 would rather give up coffee (24%), spa treatments (42%) and even chocolate (24%) than part with their mobile gadgets.

“As a leader in mobile payments technology, MasterCard wanted to learn more about the relationship women have with technology and how this relationship is evolving,” says Betty DeVita, President, MasterCard Canada. “We know technology is important to women, but were surprised by how dependent they’ve become. This fascination with mobile tools is likely the result of their increased functionality. It goes beyond chatting with family and friends. Busy women can now access social media sites, keep track of their busy social calendars and view their favorite photos and videos from anywhere using these mobile tools.”

What Women Want

Canadian women are avid users of digital cameras (85%), mobile/cellphones (73%) and MP3 players (50%), but how they use these devices is dictated by age and life circumstance.

The report reveals that there are five distinct life stages that categorize women’s relationship with technology:

  • Aspiring Adopters are women between the ages of 18 and 34 who are not employed full-time. This group is most likely to own MP3 players (81%) and smartphones (27%) and the second most likely to identify themselves as early adopters of technology (10%).

  • Connected Careerists are employed women between the ages of 18 and 34 without children. These women are identified as the earliest adopters of technology (16%) and can afford to own digital cameras (92%), MP3 players (83%), portable video/gaming devices (36%) and smartphones (36%).

  • Mobile Mamas, the majority of whom are between the ages of 25 and 49, often own a variety of devices including digital cameras (92%), cellphones (77%), MP3 players (65%), video/gaming devices (52%) and smartphones (21%). Some of these devices are for personal use, while others, such as gaming devices, may be used by their children.

  • Established but Unimpressed who are between the ages of 35 and 54 but have no children are very reluctant adopters of technology (51%) and often only own a mobile phone (84%) which they view as a tool. They are neither impressed nor intimidated by new or changing technology, and you won’t find them with the latest and greatest gadgets.

  • Silver Speakers are women aged 55+ who have no children of their own living at home. Women in this group are most likely to own cellphones (70%) and digital cameras (83%).

The MasterIndex™ on Women and Technology offers new insight into the relationship Canadian women have with technology and the full report is available at

Download the complete report (.pdf)

About the MasterIndex

The research was conducted by Environics Research Group from July 22 – August 4, 2010, via a national online survey of 2,000 adult Canadian women aged 18+.

Launched nearly 15 years ago, the MasterCard Worldwide MasterIndex™ reports are barometers of consumer attitudes and behaviours. Other MasterIndex™ reports focused on consumer confidence, retail, travel and women’s advancement and have been produced by MasterCard for the Asia/Pacific, South Asia, Middle East and Africa Markets.

To see all the MasterIndex™ Reports, including the 2011 MasterIndex™ of Women and Technology please visit

About MasterCard Worldwide

As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2010, $2.7 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 23 billion transactions each year and has the capacity to handle 140 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 140 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass and MasterCard inControl. MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

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Amanda Santino


Olivia Yu