It’s long been known that women play a huge role in the decision-making process regarding financial products, but for many years, companies (and even individual advisors) have continued to treat the business as a male-centered enterprise. This, despite the fact that women make up 51 percent of the American population and hold 43 percent of the nation’s wealth.

Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, among others, has opted to recognize the growing (and vastly underserved) women’s market with a new, female-oriented sales and marketing approach, encouraging women to take charge of their financial future and that of their families.

In Penn Mutual’s case, the new program, called “Worth,” includes financial planning and sales and marketing tools such as a personal worth calculator, a content-rich Web site, brochures, a seminar series and other communications tools, all geared to meet the challenges and fulfill the goals of women at every life stage.

“[This program] endeavors to shift this dynamic by helping women take charge of their future, recognize their value and plan for what they want from life, both today and tomorrow,” says Eileen McDonnell, executive vice president and CMO for the company.

Further statistics add weight to Penn Mutual’s efforts: Women in America receive 59 percent of all post-high school degrees, they start businesses at twice the rate of men, they earn $2.4 trillion annually and they influence 95 percent of all purchasing decisions.