Letter from Inez: January 2019

Wednesday 30th January 2019

Inez MurrayLooking ahead to 2019, we are pleased to be able to offer an increasingly robust set of peer learning opportunities and knowledge products to our members while building awareness of what works to fully include women in the economy. Highlights this year include building out our presence in the Middle East and North Africa region with our first All-Stars Academy MENA – hosted by the Central Bank of Egypt in Cairo March 24-28 – and a second All-Stars Academy taking place in October. Our Annual Summit is taking place in Paris June 17-19, hosted by GBA member AXA, and will focus on building resilience through full financial inclusion of women. To ramp up determination around this effort, the Summit will kick off with a CEO Roundtable that will convene CEOs from a range of financial services companies to discuss their vision for supporting female consumers, employees, investors and job-creating entrepreneurs, and make a commitment to stretch targets. GBA members and stakeholders will receive an invite for their CEOs next week.

This month we are delighted to announce that GBA has formed a strategic collaboration with Mercer – a global consulting leader in diverse and inclusive workforces – to support the development and rollout of a suite of peer learning and knowledge products on becoming the employer of choice for women in your market. This will begin with a Working Group on getting women into the c-suite that begins in March. We are asking members to line up their Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)/Human Resources specialists to participate and to fill out Mercer’s When Women Thrive survey, which is a strong diagnostic tool that predicts labor force diversity in the future based on current policies. This analysis will inform prioritization of focus areas for all our D&I work, including Working Groups, workstreams within the GBA Summit, the production of a how-to guide to “Becoming an Employer of Choice for Women” as well as other knowledge products. We will also be opening up the GBA Mentoring Program to D&I/Human Resources specialists.

In this issue we speak to Robert Baker, Senior Partner and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion Consulting at Mercer, about what he sees as opportunities and challenges of getting more women into leadership levels in the financial services sector and his hopes for Mercer’s strategic collaboration with GBA.

Working Groups consist of 8-10 monthly webinars during which members and stakeholders share and discuss approaches to solving for the group topic. Beyond the aforementioned D&I Working Group, 2019 will see the continuation of the Product Innovation for the Women’s Market Working Group; the addition of a Working Group on Payments for the Women’s Market, in collaboration with GBA member Mastercard; and the addition of a new service — Ask the Expert — where members can get brief strategic questions answered by GBA’s pool of Experts on a monthly “open office hours” basis. This new service is an online version of the very successful Coaches Corner session at the All-Stars Academy, during which participants get a chance to talk to an Expert on their choice of topics relating to the design and execution of a Women’s Market program.

We are adding these service areas and modalities in response to member demand based on last year’s Annual Membership Value and Satisfaction Survey. The 2019 survey will be sent out next week; please fill it in so that your voice is heard.

As we look toward a full year of enriching activities, we acknowledge the work that each of our members is doing in their own countries. This month we check in with Great Wall Bank – one of two GBA members in China – and feature as our Resource of the Month the Spanish version of our Case Study on BancoEstado, an institution that has had extraordinary success in integrating unbanked women and in adding value to women business owners.

Last year we welcomed eight new bank members. We hope to at least double that growth in 2019. And we note that none of our work would be possible without the extraordinary generosity of both our members and our stakeholders – in terms of finances and most especially in terms of their time.

Sincere thanks,

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