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Letter from Inez: September 2018

Monday 10th September 2018

Inez MurrayThis month we are proud to showcase the achievements of our members in becoming diverse and inclusive organizations in our latest InBrief, which establishes the link between workforce gender diversity and inclusion (D&I) and success in serving the Women’s Market. Informed by GBA’s Gender Diversity & Inclusion Working Group, with contributions from 29 members and partner institutions over a 10-month time period, this report explores key levers companies can employ to achieve gender D&I. The importance of this internal piece cannot be overemphasized, as it helps build momentum for and capacity to serve the Women’s Market.

In 2019 GBA will build out a how-to guide on becoming employer of choice for women, mirroring our seminal how-to guide on “Winning the Women’s Market,” which features practical advice from members, for members. Next year we will also launch a Working Group on Building Women’s Leadership, focusing on the nutty topic of getting women into the c-suite.

Women’s leadership was evident at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s (AFI) annual Global Policy Forum last week in Sochi, during which GBA had the opportunity to moderate a panel on the barriers and opportunities around closing the persistent gender gap in financial inclusion for an audience of regulators from 90+ countries. Panelists included Dr. Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Zambia, who detailed AFI’s achievements since making gender a strategic focus area in 2016, including the network’s current efforts – in collaboration with GBA member Women’s World Banking – to support female leadership development within AFI’s membership. The link between women’s representation as legislators and removing discriminatory laws was also established, and while acknowledging that men are absolutely vital to progress on the gender front, we are heartened by the increasing evidence of the strategic and business case for gender D&I writ large.

Along with the critical need for increased gender D&I, scaling up non-financial services is a key topic at our upcoming 2018 Summit. This month GBA member Itaú Unibanco shares an example of this: an easily accessible online course designed to build the business know-how of women SME owners. Eight thousand entrepreneurs have signed up since March, and the course has received excellent feedback from participants. We welcome the development of platforms like this that offer entrepreneurs real insight and skill building.

For those not quite ready to commit to the Women’s Market in such a robust way, even dipping a toe in requires a strategic analysis. We aim to support that with our Global Business Case Tool, currently being beta tested with members. The tool integrates existing datasets that financial services providers frequently do not look at and provides initial market sizing and business potential projections. We hope that it will support internal teams during the pre-feasibility and feasibility study stages of understanding the Women’s Market opportunity, and encourage more FSPs to jump in!

Last but not least, this month we interview Banco Delta, our newest member in Panama, and learn what the bank is doing to support women from low-income communities. GBA welcomes financial services providers large and small to join us as we seek to economically empower women worldwide. If you are from an institution that is seriously interested in exploring the Women’s Market and the business of inclusion, you are welcome to reach out to summit@gbaforwomen.org to determine your eligibility to attend our upcoming invitation-only Annual Summit.

Thank you

Inez Murray Newsletter Signature