Our seventh All-Stars Academy took place last week in Quito, Ecuador, bringing together our largest-ever cohort of financial services professionals to participate in the world-class course.
Nearly 300 attendees from 175 organizations in 20 countries participated in the Academy’s January 20th launch event on “The Power of the Female Economy: Transformation Through Inclusive Finance.” Speakers explored the role of the financial sector in boosting gender equity in financial services in Latin America, and included special messages from Antonio Acosta, the President of All-Stars Academy host Banco Pichincha, as well as Santiago Bayas Paredes, Banco Pichincha’s General Manager; Richard Martínez, Ecuador’s Minister of Economy and Finance; and Sylvie Bédard, the Canadian Ambassador to Ecuador.
Alliance experts from Banistmo, Banco BHD León, Banco Pichincha, Itaú Unibanco and Westpac, together with the IFC and our own expert staff, taught 100 participants from 25 financial services providers – mainly banks – over a 5-day period on how to design and implement a women-centered program and become a gender diverse and inclusive company.
“Women are the world’s largest and fastest-growing market. When they have financial power, their economic impact can be transformative,” said Rebecca Ruf, the Alliance’s EVP of Programs, during the opening remarks. “The Alliance empowers our members to understand the opportunity of this market and design and refine women-centered strategies. Through our model of learning and collaboration, more and more institutions are harnessing the power of the women’s economy. If you’re not among them, now is the time to act.”
The All-Stars Academy Americas culminated with a pitch competition, allowing attendees to demonstrate everything they had learned about supporting the female economy during the course by preparing and delivering a 5-minute pitch on the business case for a women-centered program in their home market. Participants from all the financial institutions in attendance took part in the competition, presenting their pitches to one of the expert instructors. The best four pitches were chosen, and those participants then presented to the entire room, which voted for the winner. The finalists were Banco Pichincha’s internal talent team, Banco GyT Continental (Guatemala and El Salvador), runner-up Citibanamex (Mexico) and the winner, HSBC Argentina.
Congratulations to all the participants in the course. Be sure to keep up with our All-Stars Academy Hub and social media channels for the latest announcements on our next Academies, scheduled to take place in Q3 and Q4 of this year in Asia and Africa.