Accelerating Inclusion: Data as a Catalyst for Growth

Toward a Data Directive

The power of data is still underexploited. It is not collected or utilized effectively in many institutions and entities. Data is one of the most important pillars of the World Bank’s strategy on gender equality and women’s empowerment. It helps guide governments and companies on what they should be doing, and it is critical for policy decision-making. There is a trend toward collecting more and disaggregating data by sex; however, few countries are systematically doing so. Work by organizations including the Financial Inclusion data partnership led by the GBA, Data2X, the IDB, World Bank/IFC, AFI and IMF is encouraging organizations to collect and use gender-disaggregated data. Susan Lund of McKinsey Global Institute presented a new research report on Digital Finance for All and how digital finance can boost growth in emerging markets, exemplifying the power of data.

Key Points

2016 GBA Summit Data Panel

    • McKinsey’s study on Digital Finance considers not just who holds a bank account, but who uses the account, who has borrowed money and who has saved, and they find that many accounts are not providing what individuals and businesses need.
    • New solutions provide financial services delivered over mobile phones or the internet. This can reach anyone who has access to a phone – at all levels of society – by different types of financial providers, not just banks.
    • Digital finance could boost emerging countries’ GDP by $3.7 trillion by 2025, or 6 percent, through increases in productivity, investment and labor.
    • The Gates Foundation has committed $80 million to close gender data gaps and accelerate progress for women and girls across all bodies of work at the foundation.
    • Examples of gender financial data can be found at and
    • Collecting data is a major challenge for large banks such as Itaú Unibanco. There are millions of customers, many mergers and acquisitions and different databases. In addition, if the bank has traditionally been product-driven, not customer-driven, systems may not capture the information needed. Itaú shifted to a customer-driven database and then customized it to fit their needs.

2016 GBA Summit Data Panel

  • Itaú conducted a survey of 1,376 entrepreneurs, and results were analyzed by gender: 55 percent feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at home and at work, 67 percent of women are exclusively responsible for taking care for their children, and 44 percent of women are responsible for providing for their home. This led to the development of a marketing campaign around women’s time. Both women and men responded very positively to it.
  • Collecting internal data helps the GBA understand the size of the Women’s Market, and it helps banks make the business case internally and track their own performance – for each bank independently and also comparing themselves to their peers.
  • GBA members’ data shows that women are underrepresented, as they are 35 percent of total customers and 25 percent of the credit portfolio. Women’s loan size is 50 percent lower than that of men. Latin America leads the way with the number of clients, credit volume and deposit volume.


Panels Button

2016 GBA Summit Data Panel


Senior Director, Gender, World Bank Group

Partner, McKinsey Global Institute
Presentation (members only)

Director of Institutional and Wholesale Marketing, Itaú Unibanco
Presentation (members only)

Vice President, Programs, Global Banking Alliance for Women

Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Presentation (members only)


“It’s not just the bottom of the pyramid that lacks access.”
— Susan Lund

“Thirty-two percent [of women business owners surveyed] manage their own business finances, and 58 percent are not prepared for unforeseen events. This led to [our developing] education, mentoring and tools for women entrepreneurs.”
— Andrea Cordeiro

“Many banks still don’t know
how many women customers
they have.” 

— Rebecca Ruf

“An economy that includes everyone benefits everyone.” 
— Rosita Najmi