Monday 30th January 2017
In the face of seismic shifts on the geo-political stage, I took heart this month from leaders of the business world in Davos, who shared the practical actions their companies are taking to make the world a more tolerant and inclusive place. Unilever, the second largest advertiser in the world, recognizing that we are all diminished by stereotyping, is moving their advertising away from stereotypical portrayals of gender. It so happens that ads that do no stereotype are also 12 percent more effective with consumers. Cathy Engelbert, the head of Deloitte, the world’s largest management consulting company, shared the business case for introducing 16 weeks paid family leave, which is not required in the United States. They have found that more men making use of the policy has encouraged more women to do so as well.
Thanks to the 23 members who reported to GBA Data Analytics, I was proud to be able to share GBA’s aggregate business case for serving the Women’s Market, both at Davos and a day earlier in Geneva. Sharing that women customers on average have lower NPLs, strong deposits, equal products per customer and higher net promoter scores (for those members who track it), while mentioning the global brand names that make up our membership, resonated well with business leaders and policymakers alike.
My next stop was Germany, where the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) met last week to discuss what will get done in 2017 with regard to financial inclusion under the German presidency of the G20. GBA’s suggestions included integration of women-owned businesses as a criterion in the SME finance sub-group’s work on getting SMEs into global supply chains, examination of the applicability of the Denaru Action Plan to GPFI’s work and, finally, the fact that we are working toward establishing the business case for Central Banks to encourage the production of sex-disaggregated data from the suppliers of financial services.
The GBA continues to grow in influence. We have consolidated our methodology, proven its efficacy and built a critical mass of very strong programs across the Alliance that act as centers of excellence, generously supporting one another and newcomers to learn, embrace and develop programs for themselves. We ended 2016 with 40 bank members and aim to add at least 12 banks in 2017.
This month we are proud to announce that the application process is now open for our two regional All-Stars Academies, supporting our expansion. The Academies are open to members and also high-potential prospective members who are serious about designing or expanding their work with the Women’s Market.
Finally, this month, we are highlighting some of the amazing women around the world who have won awards from our members for their achievements in business, civil society and many other arenas.
Politicians come and go, but this month I am keeping in mind that business models that support the triple bottom line, like GBAs members’, are here for the long haul.
Inez Murray, Chief Executive Officer
Global Banking Alliance for Women