Friday 13th February 2015
GBA members from Latin America, Africa, the Pacific Islands, Europe and the USA visited Westpac’s headquarters in Sydney on the week of Feb. 16 for a comprehensive Study Tour that focused on how the world’s most successful Women’s Market program is implemented across the bank. Staff from the three Development Finance Institutions that support banks to focus on women-owned SMEs and that support the Alliance — the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) — also joined in this incredible learning opportunity.
The Study Tour included presentations from the different teams across Westpac that are involved in both the day-to-day execution of the Women’s Markets program and the supporting systems required to ensure the program is fully embedded within the bank. Topics covered included:
During the Study Tour, Larke Riemer, Director of Women’s Markets, described Westpac’s journey to capture the female economy, which started more than 15 years ago and which brought in A$1.6 billion in revenues in 2014. According to Larke, Westpac does not consider women a segment, given that they are half the customer base. The bank does, however, segment its women business owners by business size and its women consumers by income, tailoring the value proposition to the individual needs of each segment, but always with the same fundamental elements — information, education and networking opportunities. It is a winning formula executed with perfection, and like all good strategies, it is wonderfully simple.
When asked why Westpac is so generous with other banks, Larke shared that she never fears the competition. It is the capabilities required to implement a strategy rather than the strategy itself that is the source of true competitive advantage, she said.
For more information on Westpac’s success with the Women’s Market, take a look at GBA’s Case Study on Westpac and the Ruby sub-brand. GBA members can search The Vault to get hold of some of the materials shared during this Study Tour.
The GBA wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Westpac for their incredible generosity. We look forward to seeing member banks at our next Study Tour, which will take place in September at 2015 Summit host, Itaú Unibanco. A third tour will be hosted by GBA anchor bank in MENA, BLC Bank Lebanon in Q4. Study Tours are for GBA members and banks seriously considering developing strategies for the Women’s Market.