NBC Universal is conducting a major study that will gauge how the changing roles of women in society are affecting female consumer behavior.
Results of the study, being coordinated via the network's Women at NBCU initiative and conducted with market research firm GFK Roper, will be released in mid-October.
But sources said much of the research has been completed and that preliminary results show women playing a much larger role in buying big-ticket items such as cars and high-end consumer electronics than a decade ago. Women are also playing bigger roles in family financial planning and buying stocks and bonds, per the study.
NBCU said the study was designed as a complement to a programming partnership the media company announced this week with Maria Shriver, a former NBC News correspondent, called "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything," which will air as a weeklong series over an array of NBCU platforms beginning Oct. 18.
Shriver's report was conducted with the Center for American Progress and support from Time magazine, Hewlett-Packard, the Rockefeller Foundation and the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.
Segments will air on NBC's Meet the Press, CNBC, Telemundo and iVillage.
Results of the female consumer behavior study will be discussed at a Nov. 10 Women@NBCU advisory board meeting, and then released publicly. Advisory board members include Zenith Media's Peggy Green, Gilt's Susan Lyne, Nancy Smith of American Express and Citigroup's Lisa Caputo.
— Nielsen Business Media