Letter from Inez: February 2018

Wednesday 7th February 2018

Inez MurrayAs many serious minds focus on how to build corporate sustainability and shared value, GBA has long argued and demonstrated that a core piece of this for the financial services sector is to have a strategy for the Women’s Market and for gender Diversity & Inclusion (D&I).

If convincing needs to be done, then I recommend a trip to the headquarters of GBA founding member Westpac, which is opening its doors April 30 – May 1 for a Study Tour on just how they do it. Study Tours are normally an exclusive benefit to GBA members and our IFI and DFI partners. However, if you can demonstrate that your institution has a serious interest in delivering value to the Women’s Market and wants to attend, please get in touch.

For a more nuts-and-bolts learning experience on designing and executing a Women’s Market program, we encourage you to apply to our first All-Stars Academy in Asia, taking place March 12-16 in Negombo, Sri Lanka. Experts from GBA members NatWest (U.K.), BLC Bank (Lebanon) and HBL (Pakistan) will teach this 4.5-day immersion workshop along with GBA experts and GBA partner IFC, which has financed US$1 billion-plus to support women’s SMEs in emerging markets. Applications are accepted on a competitive basis, and the deadline to apply is February 19th.

Establishing the link between gender D&I and business performance in the Women’s Market is one of the charges of our largest Working Group to date. With 26 organizations participating in the nine monthly webinars co-hosted by GBA and shared value consulting firm FSG, the exchange of information in the Gender Diversity & Inclusion Working Group is rich. The core content is individual members’ D&I case studies, with a forum for comments, questions and answers – supporting one another to move up the learning curve on this important dimension of success with the Women’s Market.

Strong bottom-line results from this work are enhanced by the significant reputational benefits accrued. This month we are proud to give a shout out to two members excelling in this space: Nigeria’s Access Bank, which won an award from the country’s Central Bank for Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Banco BHD León, which was given the Dominican Republic’s first-ever certification for gender equality by the Ministry for Women’s Affairs.

As we head into International Women’s Day next month, I feel more certain than ever that we are making the road by walking.

Sincere thanks,

Inez Murray Newsletter Signature