Thursday 20th October 2016
The second day of the 15th Annual GBA Summit featured an exceptional array of thought leaders and expert practitioners from around the world, who each shared their insights on how banks can effectively capture the Women’s Market.
Day 2 of the Summit kicked off with a special address from Jackie VanderBrug of U.S. Trust, Bank of America, who discussed the current status of “Gender Lens Investing” with the Summit audience. Among other insights, Jackie pointed out that women are 50 percent more likely than men to consider a company’s social or environmental impact important, and companies looking to do business with women would be wise to consider this.
The day’s first panel focused on how digital banking can enhance access to finance for women. Panelists demonstrated that digital finance opportunities are vast, particularly when it comes to small businesses. Two panel examples included a platform that uses mobile phone data in place of traditional credit criteria to allow users without formal documentation to obtain loans, and a program that provides digital credit servicing for small loans. Esra Kivrak of GBA member Garanti Bank shared plans for new digital solutions for women entrepreneurs in Turkey that will also collect data, enabling the bank to refine its offerings to better serve its women clients’ needs.
Participants then chose one of two tracks: “Creating an Insurance Value Proposition for Women” or “Fast Tracking Diversity at the Bank.” In the insurance panel, Susan Holliday from the IFC pointed out that women will significantly drive insurance market growth in the next decades, especially in emerging markets, and AXA’s Dawn Miller shared research on the key barriers to insurance for women. Maria Gabriela Marine and Daniel Gutiérrez then discussed how they have overcome some of these barriers at Banco BHD León through deep analysis of their customers’ needs and creation of product bundles that meet them.
In the diversity panel, Carole Jackson from Mercer presented disheartening results from the recent study, “When Women Thrive,” showing that if the current hire, promotion and retention rates of executives stay the same as they were in the last 12 months, Mercer actually expects a decrease in women in executive positions by 2025: from 15 percent to 12 percent. Two banks then explained their strategies to increase female representation internally. Roofi Jamil shared HBL’s experience in Pakistan with unconscious bias training, and Julie Rynski walked through Westpac’s Inclusion & Diversity journey. The percent of women in senior management there has increased from 24 percent in 2008 to 44 percent now. By 2017, as the bank turns 200 years old, Westpac expects to have equal male and female representation in senior management.
Following the first parallel session, attendees chose between “Embedding a Women’s Market Program in the Bank” and “Models to Maximize Effectiveness of Non-Financial Services.” In the former, BLC Bank Assistant General Manager Tania Moussallem detailed the key ingredients for properly embedding a Women’s Market program, including getting buy-in from top management, conducting thorough training, focusing on the business case and measuring performance. Presentations from Maria Aminta Quirce of BNCR and Jessica Lopez of BancoEstado built on these points, highlighting their own unique experiences with successfully embedding their programs.
On the non-financial services side, Simla Unal of TEB, whose world-class NFS have recently been profiled in a GBA Case Study, shared results from a recent IFC study that found a majority of banks provide non-financial services in order to differentiate themselves in their markets. Three GBA banks then shared examples of their NFS for women. Participants learned from Jane Howard about RBS’s accelerator program for entrepreneurs, which actively seeks a 50:50 gender split, and Raya Yusuf-Sbitany walked attendees through Bank of Palestine’s Mini MBA program, which has overcome vast challenges to reach more than 1,000 women this year. Javier Sancho of BAC San José shared his bank’s NFS experiences in four markets. His top advice was to be innovative and keep momentum going.
The best practice learnings continued with the “Meet the Banks” session, which allowed open conversation around Women’s Market challenges and successes, and provided face time with select GBA member banks for participants to ask their burning questions that have come up over the last two days of presentations and discussions.
The day concluded with the GBA Gala Dinner & Awards event, which honored 11 GBA members that have made outstanding contributions to advance and grow the Women’s Market over the past year. This year’s honorees were: Banco G&T Continental El Salvador, Bank of Luoyang, Bank of Palestine, Banque Franco-Lao, TEB Kosovo – New Program Award; Banco Nacional de Costa Rica – Data Award; HBL – Highest Engagement Award; Banco BHD León, TEB – Outstanding Contributors Award; BLC Bank – Leadership Award; Westpac – Lifetime Achievement Award. Check the GBA website in the coming days for a full recap of the proceedings, including a slide show featuring all award winners.