The Approach

Customer Insights

Women often want different experiences with financial services providers than men do, and they require a different approach.

Women are risk-conscious.

They’re more likely than men to sacrifice a potential upside in exchange for lower risk or less debt.

of American women are willing to take financial risks for potential rewards, compared to 70% of men (Prudential).
of female Australian small and medium enterprise owners finance their businesses out of their own savings (Westpac).
lower likelihood that a woman will borrow for a wedding, health expenses or home construction than a man (World Bank).

Women are careful decision-makers.

Women want more information than men do and prefer more time to decide on significant financial actions.

72% of wealth advisors believe women take more time to make decisions (Investment News).

44% of women say that learning more about planning and investing is their top priority when working with an advisor (LPL Financial).

Women want relationships, not transactions.

They’re more receptive to financial advice from an advisor after establishing a positive relationship.

– Women whose financial advisors create a safe space for them are 56% more likely to be satisfied, trusting and loyal (CTI).

– Women whose financial advisors help them learn are 49% more likely to be satisfied, trusting and loyal (CTI).

69% of women said “communicating in a way I understand” is the most important aspect of an ideal financial advisor (Age Wave and LPL Financial).

Women care about values.

Women view finance as a tool for reaching life and family goals. But they also care about social and gender-specific causes.

of women want their investments to promote social well-being (CTI).
of women want to invest in organizations with diversity in senior leadership (CTI).
Achieving financial peace of mind is more than 7 times more important to women than accumulating wealth (LPL Financial).

Value Creation

Linking these preferences with the services women need is key to creating successful financial experiences for them.


Women seek ample information before making significant financial decisions — but they may not know where to get it.


Women report a lack of experience, knowledge and confidence in financial matters. And they’re likely to seek out improvement in these areas.


Women tend to be less networked than men, which can constrain their growth as business owners.


Women are less likely to seek financing for their businesses – and when they do they’re more likely to rely on their families for funding. They value financial independence but may not feel financially secure.


The female economy is varied, with needs and preferences differing among clients and segments.

Business Owners

Understanding the specific barriers women face based on the maturity of their businesses is key.

The Need: Start-ups need support in business plan development and financial projections, education about launching a business, and access to role models and networking activities.

One Solution: Westpac offers an online business plan template, a dedicated team to support clients and education via their in-house financial capability training division, the Davidson Institute.

The Need: At this stage, women want to understand the how and why of expanding their businesses, as well as the value of debt and details of funding options. They find meeting others who have faced and overcome similar challenges extremely useful.

One Solution: Alliance member RBS sponsors Bizcrowd, an online community that connects UK businesses to buyers and suppliers.

The Need: Female owners of established businesses may be considering their exit strategies. They value financial advice around selling, retirement planning and even connections to venture capital firms. They also value peer-to-peer mentoring and may be willing to mentor start-up leaders.

Individual Consumers

Taking an income-based approach to women’s needs strengthens the value proposition.

The Need: Financial needs of high-net-worth women include sophisticated wealth management, estate planning and philanthropy advice. These women are well-connected; they’ll look to their financial services provider to offer a network that they can’t find elsewhere.

One Solution: National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s Velvet Program offers clients a deep understanding of their wealth structuring, risk profiling and investment needs through well-trained female private bankers.

The Need: Professional women want information on setting up trusts, wealth management, education savings and retirement – and networking and professional development events.

One Solution: The Westpac Learn, Lead and Succeed program is a full-day education and networking event designed for small business owners and corporate women.

The Need: This is a financial services provider’s widest customer base, with the most straightforward needs. But there are still opportunities to increase share of wallet per customer and leverage advocacy potential.

One Solution: Online initiatives can reach large female audiences with minimal investments compared with in-person events. Westpac’s Ruby Connection is an interactive online community designed to inspire, connect and educate women.

What Members Say