Saturday 28th November 2020
While we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the news of vaccines, perhaps this is a moment to reflect on the way we have all pivoted our work this year, setting the bar higher, finding renewed purpose, courage and resolve. The Alliance pivoted immediately by focusing our Ask The Expert series to members’ business responses to COVID, and opened it up to non-members to spread the know-how. Just as our members reported huge uptake of digital channels, pivoting their education and networking services on-line, so we at the Alliance saw a tripling of the number of pairs in our Mentoring Program, a tripling of the number of CEOs participating in our CEO Roundtable and indeed a tripling of the number of attendees at our Annual Summit.
We doubled down to create more value including building a parallel track on gender diversity & inclusion into our service offering, the cornerstone of which is our How To Guide To Becoming The Employer Of Choice For Women, published last month. We encourage members to register for our Working Group How-to in Action: D&I Strategies for the Future of Women at Work which will help members take full advantage of the guide. The Working Group will also incorporate the latest trends that will affect the future of women at work, such as restructuring in the banking sector, job automation, reskilling, and the rise of remote work.
Our last service to pivot on-line is our 5-day in-person All Stars Academy training which will now take place virtually. While it is hard to replicate the wonderful energy our All Stars Academy creates in-person, our eAll Stars will combine the best of technology and touch. Spread out over three weeks with shorter sessions; taught by expert practitioners from our membership and supported by excellent elearning materials; the Academy will culminate in a live elevator pitch competition, just as the in-person event does. The course is open to members and non-members with a serious intent to design and launch a women-centered strategy. Places are awarded on a competitive basis and we are encouraging applications now.
Combining technology and touch is key to financial inclusion and there is no better evidence of this than that shared by Rachel Freeman, Chief Growth Officer of our newest member: Tyme. A digital banking group that deploys technology, product and operational expertise to create digital banks, the company set up its first digital bank—Tyme Bank—in South Africa in 2019. Already reaching 2.9 million formerly un-banked or under-banked South Africans, Rachel reveals that by locating kiosks in retail stores where a new-to-bank customer can get a debit card within minutes and is aided by a Tyme Ambassador who supports on-boarding, the company is overcoming the three main barriers excluded populations face—physical (convenience), financial (affordability) and emotional (trust) —in accessing formal financial services.
Tyme won our 2020 Hackathon for its new proposition to enable women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in partnership with conversational eCommerce platform, Jumper.ai . Such partnerships are key to creating value for women. We hope this case provides ideas to others and we seek to encourage the fintech sector to become gender intelligent.
Our members meet once a quarter to share ideas, their successes and failures on marketing to women customers in our communications taskforce. This month we are publishing an In-Brief that shares examples of how members are flexing their marketing muscle to not only break down gender stereotypes but to create awareness of unsavory topics like workplace harassment.
We very much hope to see you in-person sometime in 2021 and until then look forward to continuing our engagement with you on-line.