Thursday 28th January 2021
In This Issue
Spotlight on: The Year Ahead
This year we’re off to an incredible start with over 250 students from 89 organizations and 70 countries participating in our first All Stars Academy of 2021. We have quadrupled our reach because the renowned training has moved online and therefore neither has the space limitations of a brick and mortar classroom nor of travel budgets.
The virtual environment has also enabled us to widen the group of expert practitioners contributing. And our digital learning platform has useful features, such as only allowing students to go to the next module if they’ve completed the previous one. The sheer number of students and their patent enthusiasm gives us reason to believe we are all building back better and using our lockdown time wisely.
The impact of the pandemic on female employees kicked off our first Working Group of 2021 on the Future of Work for Women. While the jury is out on how remote work will impact career prospects for women, it is clear that it is placing many employees under pressure due to work/life balance and other issues. This working group takes a step-by-step approach to building a strong gender diversity and inclusion strategy, including workforce resilience. It also works through our ”How-To Guide: Becoming The Employer Of Choice For Women.” We encourage all members to take advantage of these resources.
Looking further ahead in 2021, our flagship Annual Summit will build on last year’s success of reaching three times the audience of prior years. Taking place in October, it will be preceded by our second ever Alliance Hack in September. This is an important milestone in our efforts to encourage fintechs to become gender intelligent and will be complemented by a new learning and networking series—Fintech Fridays—designed to bring banks, fintechs and investors together to solve for the female economy. Getting investors to integrate the female economy into their investment portfolios and also to support female founders is hugely important. This month, we interviewed Carol Gibbons from Enterprise Ireland, the second most active seed investors by deal count, on their current strategy to support and develop more female founders.
Our full range of peer learning services are paced throughout the year, and we’ll also continue our focus on encouraging members and the industry at large to get more and better data to measure the performance of their women-centered strategies. Members should look out for the data templates in February.
Meanwhile, the Alliance is working with the Women’s Financial Inclusion Data (WFID) partnership in seven countries to encourage national production and use of sex-disaggregated supply-side data as it is so vital to closing the gender gaps in access to and use of financial services.
As we look toward a full year of enriching activities, a shout out to NatWest Group who just launched £1 billion in female entrepreneurship funding and announced targets to help create 50,000 new businesses by 2023 and a warm welcome to Banco Regional, Paraguay. In this interview, Laura Borsato, CEO, shares her perspective on the positive impacts of digitization and her plans to deepen the bank’s support of women in Paraguay.
We acknowledge that none of our work would be possible without the extraordinary generosity of both our members and our stakeholders – both in terms of funding and their time. This month, we thank the 26 experts from Alliance members for providing their expertise and DFC, the Government of Taiwan, CDC and FMO for providing financial support. We are also grateful to our development finance partners for their support in gathering such a large number of institutions to participate.
Sincere thanks to all of you and wishing you great success in 2021!