Conference Highlights

The GBA hosted its largest annual Summit to date September 17th through 19th in Washington, D.C. More than 200 attendees participated, representing 34 banks from 34 countries. The event was hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank. The Summit began with a Special Forum on Achieving Sustainability through the Female Economy, with Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, and Chris Sullivan, Deputy Chief Executive of Royal Bank of Scotland Group and GBA Chair as headline speakers.

Throughout the conference, panels addressed many of the barriers that were uncovered during a recent GBA research study, conducted with the support of McKinsey & Company. Member banks discussed the business case for focusing on the Women’s Market and highlighted successful examples of banks that have not only implemented successful programs but also measured the results. Panels focused on the importance of data, financial capabilities, building powerful networks, branding, as well as the use of innovation and technology. The event culminated with member roundtables, focusing on key issues and action items for GBA members to discuss.

The GBA is extremely grateful for the contributions of our 2014 Summit host and sponsors:

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Opening Remarks

Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno and Deputy Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland Chris Sullivan kicked off the 2014 GBA Summit, sharing their insights on how profitable the Women’s Market can be for banks and why women’s economic inclusion is so important.

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Framing the Opportunity

Many banks have yet to identify the Women’s Market as a business opportunity. GBA commissioned McKinsey & Company to understand how bankers make strategic choices about growing their business and what actions need to be taken to persuade them to unlock the power of the purse.

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The Business Case for Focusing on the Women’s Market

There is strong evidence of the link between Corporate Sustainability and a company taking a strategic approach to women. This panel explored the key levers that need to be pulled to encourage widespread adoption of a gender lens in business.

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Data Gaps: Why They Matter and How We Can Fill Them

What is not measured does not get done. This panel explored the importance of data to advancing women’s financial inclusion and the role GBA plays in closing the gender data gap.

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Building Powerful Customer Networks

Facilitating learning and networking opportunities are a key piece of the value proposition for women. Panelists shared how their institutions are building customer networks at scale using social and traditional media, as well as other offerings.

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Financing High-Growth Women Entrepreneurs

Most women entrepreneurs rely on savings and loans to finance growth instead of tapping venture capital. This panel explored changes occurring in financing high-growth women entrepreneurs, achieving gender parity and the role of commercial banks.

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Innovations in Financing Women-Owned Small Businesses

Lending to women-owned MSMEs can be cost prohibitive for banks. This panel explored breakthrough technologies and processes that reduce the underwriting cost of lending to small businesses.

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Plugging the Financial and Business Knowledge Gap

Women of all ages and income groups are behind when it comes to understanding finances, and they face business knowledge gaps. This panel explored approaches banks are taking to close these gaps while creating tremendous value for their business.

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Embedding a Women’s Market Program in the Bank

This panel discussed the range of levers that must be pulled in order to embed a WMP in the bank, from Board Room buy-in to having the right WMP team, branding materials and staff incentives.

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Moving Toward Full Economic Empowerment for Women:
A Conversation with Melanne Verveer

Former U.S. Global Ambassador for Women Melanne Verveer shared her insights on what it will take to get full economic empowerment for women and the important role that she sees GBA playing.

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GBA Peer Learning: A Mentoring Conversation

GBA launched a cross-cutting Mentoring Program in January 2014, working with 30 senior leaders drawn from 16 member banks around the world. A sample of banks participating in the Mentoring Program shared the business and personal benefits gained.

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Closing Remarks

Nancy Lee, General Manager of the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund, and Inez Murray of the GBA recapped the Summit’s key discussion points during the closing remarks.

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