Letter from Inez: February 2017

Monday 27th February 2017

Inez MurrayFour years ago this month, a group of GBA banks and board members gathered in the winter wonderland of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, for a three-day workshop to capture what we knew about setting up and implementing a Women’s Market program in a bank. The result was our first edition of “Winning the Women’s Market: A How-to Guide for Financial Institutions.” This was the first time GBA wrote up what women value and what works in Women’s Market program design, execution and measurement. It became the foundation for the GBA Mentoring Program and for our All-Stars Academy training.

This month, we are proud to publish our second edition of “Winning the Women’s Market.” It includes new and updated experiences from the contributors to Version 1.0 — Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia), Royal Bank of Scotland (UK), BLC Bank (Lebanon) and Garanti Bank (Turkey) — and seven additional banks: BAC San José (Costa Rica), Banco BHD León (Dominican Republic), Banco Nacional de Costa Rica, Habib Bank Limited (Pakistan), Itaú Unibanco (Brazil), Rawbank (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Türk Ekonomi Bankası (Turkey). This widening of the net reflects our growth, and the sharing of proprietary information reflects the essence of GBA.

We are dedicating this edition of the How-to Guide to Julie Weeks, GBA Board member (2011 – 2015) and founder and CEO of Womenable. Sadly, she passed away this month, with much left to contribute. Julie’s wisdom guided us during those snowy Cape Cod days. She was a tireless campaigner for women’s economic empowerment. She conducted powerful research to put women-owned SMEs on the map, including the seminal “State of Women-Owned Businesses” report, which statistically captured the position of women-owned businesses in the United States, as well as many other studies around the world. She believed strongly in GBA and contributed in many ways to our strategy as we matured as an organization. We will miss her.

While the How-to Guide is for members only, we invite non-members that either have or are considering having a program dedicated to the Women’s Market to join us at our upcoming Gender Intelligent Banking webinar, co-hosted with GBA partner SME Finance Forum. This webinar will share key customer insights from GBA member banks that prove a strong case for gender-intelligent strategies and challenge the industry’s basic assumption that gender-neutral banking works.

We also encourage members and non-members alike to apply to our All-Stars Academies, taking place in Spanish/English from May 23–26 in the Dominican Republic and in English from June 19–22 in Zambia. These courses are an excellent way to learn from experienced bankers on how to design and execute a Women’s Market strategy.

It was at our first All-Stars Academy that we met the team from Stanbic Bank Zambia, who I am proud to say are launching their own Women’s Market program next month. The bank is part of Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets, with a retail presence in 20 countries. In this issue we interview Mwansa Mutati, Head Business Banking, and ask her about her bank’s approach to the Women’s Market and how Stanbic intends to use this as a test case for expansion to other markets.

Lest we forget that we stand on the shoulders of giants, I end this letter with gratitude for my colleague Julie Weeks.


Inez Murray Newsletter Signature


Inez Murray, Chief Executive Officer
Global Banking Alliance for Women