Thursday 13th March 2014
I participated on a panel on March 6 at the White House to celebrate International Women’s Day. It takes quite a few celebrities to get me officially starstruck, having served many a Hollywood actor during my college waitressing days in New York City, but starstruck I was.
My fellow panelists were Christine Lagarde, Lloyd Blankfein, and Cathy Russell, but what struck me the most was the power of their data. Ms Lagarde was able to provide data to heads of state that quantified how much their country’s GDP would increase if only women were enabled to fully participate in the labor market. Goldman Sachs unveiled a similarly powerful study, Giving Credit Where It Is Due , revealing that, on average, per capita GDP in the world’s largest emerging market economies would increase 12% by 2030, just by ensuring women business owners have equal access to credit.
I have long recognized that the GBA has, among our members, a unique data set that is just as elemental to advancing gender equality. GBA banks capture information on the performance of women as a customer segment and have, as individual banks, built the business case to serve women. This month we are pleased to announce the launch of our Women’s Markets Analytics Platform in which member banks are supplying us with their Women’s Market performance data. We in turn are aggregating the data to not only build an Alliance-wide business case for serving women but to deepen the sector’s understanding of how women behave as consumers of financial services.
This month we are also pleased to share our collaboration with Data 2X, former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s global initiative to close the gender data gaps across many areas from health to education to economic empowerment in order to advance gender equality. This collaboration will leverage GBA data to promote women’s full financial inclusion. In this issue, Mayra Buvinic, Senior Fellow at the UN Foundation, who is leading the Data 2X initiative, shares why bank data is so important in building a policy environment that supports women’s full economic participation.
As we all know, what is measured is valued. I extend my enormous gratitude to the leaders and staff of GBA members who recognize this and have done the hard work of capturing and analyzing this data.
Inez Murray, Chief Executive Officer
Global Banking Alliance for Women