News

Closing the Gender Data Gap

Saturday 13th December 2014

GBA Newsletter

Closing the Gender Data Gap: GBA's Women's Market AnalyticsAlthough there has been an increased focus on the collection and use of demand-side data for women’s access to financial services, data on the supply side of the equation remains sparse. In a recent report commissioned by the GBA that sought to understand the barriers preventing banks from capturing the Women’s Market, two out of the four main barriers found were directly related to the lack of supply-side data, including the perceived lack of a business case and the absence of sex-disaggregated data to support that business case.

In 2014, the GBA launched its Women’s Markets Analytics platform, a first-of-its-kind global repository of supply-side Women’s Market data from banks. As part of this work, we collected Women’s Market data from 16 member banks and for the first time were able to quantify a portion of GBA’s reach, as well as measure performance, profitability, risk, loyalty and Diversity & Inclusion trends. In September 2014, GBA also made a Commitment to Action with the Clinton Global Initiative, alongside 15 member banks and 2 International Finance Institutions — the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Finance Corporation. In this Commitment, banks agreed to share data and results from their Women’s Market programs for the first time in order to establish the business case for serving women. The IFIs agreed to support banks in disaggregating their data. GBA committed to having a total of 33 banks report sex disaggregated data by September 2017, projected to account for one half of GBA member banks at that time.

In 2015, the GBA will continue to expand our efforts in Data Analytics. On December 15 we announced a partnership with the IDB and Data2X to expand the collection and use of sex-disaggregated data by banks. The commitment was announced at an event in New York headlined by speakers Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Michael R. Bloomberg, which also included a panel moderated by Chelsea Clinton.

The initiative will begin in early 2015 with a Data Working Group made up of experts from key stakeholder bodies, including banks, development finance institutions and policy makers involved in promoting full financial inclusion for women. The initiative will be bank-driven, and will start by understanding the challenges and opportunities of sex disaggregating customer data for banks. Recommendations for what data can be collected and proposals for how best to support this will be presented and discussed at a Global Data Symposium, to take place September 2015 in São Paulo, Brazil — coinciding with the 2015 GBA Annual Summit, which will be hosted by Itaú Unibanco.

“Banks in the GBA have the data that proves the business case for serving women,” Inez Murray, the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, said. “More banks need to get involved, and data is a key lever in helping them make that strategic choice. We are highlighting the relevance of sex-disaggregated data to the financial inclusion agenda, and are proud that our banks and our partner, the IDB, are taking the lead.”