Letter from Inez: April 2013

Saturday 13th April 2013

GBA Newsletter

As the Alliance continues preparing Winning Women’s Wealth, our first-ever “how-to” guide, for publication, one of the things I find most striking is the consistency of our member institutions’ experiences. The Alliance operates in many diverse cultural contexts and market segments, and our members’ women’s programs are at different stages of evolution. But the four elements that a women’s market program must contain – access to financial services, information, education, and networking opportunities – appear universal. In this issue of the newsletter, you can read how banks as diverse as the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which is just launching its women’s programs, and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Rawbank, whose “Lady’s First” program is well-established, execute against these universals. Whether connecting a Congolese entrepreneur with the legal assistance to register her business, or sponsoring financial planning seminars for affluent Emirati women, Alliance members know that serving women customers well is about much more than products or transactions. It’s about understanding women’s goals, and delivering a comprehensive, relationship-based financial approach to help achieve them.

The forthcoming Winning Women’s Wealth (working title) how-to guide captures fifteen years’ worth of these experiences. Working on the Guide has been a fascinating process that has greatly increased my own understanding of program design and execution. It has also filled me with an even deeper appreciation for the collective wisdom and collaborative spirit of our Alliance. Member institutions have freely shared what they themselves learned the hard way, through trial and error, about what it takes to build a successful woman’s program – including the all-important question about securing institutional buy-in, from the bank’s top leadership down to the front lines.

In the same collaborative spirit, please do send over material that you think other members would value. If it is material you would like to make publicly available, we can of course add it to; otherwise, we will add to The Vault, our password-protected members only site. We are especially looking for:

  • Market research
  • Marketing collateral or information about campaigns or tactics that have proven particularly effective
  • Training manuals (whether for bank staff, women clients, or strategic partners)
  • Financial product specifications
  • Program descriptions,
  • Employee incentive systems

and anything else relevant to your experience in building your institution’s women’s market.

It has been a busy month for the Alliance secretariat. Along with ongoing work on Winning Women’s Wealth, we continue to develop the agenda and secure the speakers for the Summit, process registrations and other Summit-related logistical work, refine the policy strategy for our Alliance – and the happy task of onboarding new members. If you have not already, please do register for the Summit. Along with the official launch of Winning Women’s Wealth, which I believe is critical intellectual capital to fast track program scale and impact, the Summit will provide substantive, practical working sessions, high-level addresses from the policymaking community, and of course, valuable face-to-face networking.

See you in Istanbul.

Inez Murray, Chief Executive Officer

Global Banking Alliance for Women