Keeping Momentum After Year 2

What Next?

This panel explored what it has taken to fully embed panelists’ Women’s Market programs into their banks. Contributors shared their experiences from different regions on what kept the program going after the initial excitement of the launch had passed. Panelists agreed that strong internal and external communications, a focus on Diversity & Inclusion, ensuring men were included in the journey, and tracking business results and communicating them widely helped banks maintain momentum.

Key Points

  • Andrew spoke about his experiences with banks that have programs with the IFC. There are a number of challenges after launch, and in particular after year one. Oftentimes, teams have been asked to succeed on a short timeline, targets are set that may be over-ambitious, and results are hard to show at first. People who showed commitment at first may have moved on to their next projects. Because of this, banks do not necessarily see the behavior change they are looking for initially.
  • Some suggestions for keeping momentum include showing early results, training the frontline well, including incentives at all relevant levels, communicating well and bringing the men with you.
  • Embedding year 2 2017 GBA Summit 2

  • The Westpac Women’s Markets journey began when senior leaders learned that women were not being served well in branches and wanted change. They trained frontline employees and set up a small Women’s Markets team. They included senior level managers on the team and communicated internally the benefits of targeting women, as well as the business case.
  • The Westpac Women’s Markets team ensures that the distribution channels are using the Ruby Women’s Markets brand correctly. The Head of Women’s Markets is a senior role at the bank, and her job is to communicate the strategy of Women’s Markets with general managers and group executives and to drive it forward.
  • At BLC Bank, We Initiative was established in the marketing department. They also prioritized communications internally and externally to ensure that when a woman came into the branch the frontline employees knew what the offerings were and could help her.
  • Bank al Etihad in Jordan recognized the opportunity of the Women’s Market and found an advantage to being the first in the market. The women’s program is anchored in marketing, and it has influenced their brand more broadly and had a very positive impact on the business. Keys for embedding the program have been a cross-functional, senior-level team, champions, broad communications on the clear business case, KPIs and incentives, involving the employees in the program and including the program in the business strategy of the bank.
  • At Access Bank in Nigeria the key was training core staff, implementing policies at all levels and not alienating the men. They increased maternity leave, introduced crèches for employees and launched a women’s network.

Embedding year 2 2017 GBA Summit


Head Financial Institution Consulting Group South Asia, IFC

National Manager Business Initiatives, SME Banking & Connect Now; Westpac

Head of Communications, BLC Bank

CEO, Bank al Etihad

Chair, Access Bank


Bring the men with you – gender sensitivity training is key.
— Andrew McCartney

You need to communicate well: Tell a story and a business strategy.
— Rachael McKenzie

You can’t clap with only one hand. You need to gain the trust of your employees to effectively transmit the message to the public.
— Joyce Kozaily

We have made this part of our DNA. If the program is part of our identity across the organization, it will not be abandoned if I’m not there to look after it.
— Nadia al Saeed

When women are fulfilled personally, they tend to give a lot more to the customers.
— Mosun Belo-Olusoga