The Approach

Customer Insights

Women often want different things from a financial services provider than men do, and they require a different approach.

Women strike a more conservative balance between risk and reward.

Women are more likely than men to err on the side of caution, sacrificing potential upside in exchange for lower risk or preferring not to get into debt.

49% of US women are willing to take a risk for the opportunity of financial reward, while 70% of men are, Prudential found.
72% of Australian female SME owners finance their businesses out of their own savings, Westpac has found.
Women are 16% less likely than men to borrow for a wedding, health expenses or home construction, the WorldBank found.

Women take longer to make decisions.

Women want more information than men do and need more time to reach decisions.

72% of wealth advisors surveyed by Investment News felt that women take more time to make decisions.

44% of women in an LPL Financial study stated that the No. 1 thing an advisor can do is help them learn more about planning and investing.

Women want relationships, not transactions.

They are more receptive to financial advice from an advisor after a relationship has been established.

– According to CTI, women whose financial advisors create a “safe space” are 56% more likely to be satisfied, trusting and loyal to their advisors.

– Women whose financial advisors “educate them” are 49% more likely to be satisfied, trusting and loyal to their advisors, CTI found.

69% of women in a survey from Age Wave and LPL Financial ranked “communicating in a way I understand” as the most important aspect of an “ideal” financial advisor.

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.

88% of women want to invest in organizations that promote social well-being, CTI research showed.
77% of women want to invest in organizations with diversity in senior leadership, CTI found.
Achieving financial peace of mind is over 7 times more important to women than accumulating wealth, LPL Financial found.

Value Creation

Linking women’s attitudes with the services they need is key to a successful women’s program.


Women are avid seekers of information. They like ample information before making financial decisions but may not know where to get it.


Women self-report less experience, knowledge and confidence in financial matters, and are very likely to express a desire to improve in these areas.


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


Women are less likely to seek external financing for their business or may rely on family funding. They value financial independence but may not feel financially secure.


The Women’s Market is varied, and needs and attitudes differ among clients.

Business Owners

Understanding the 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 a range of educational inputs via their in-house financial capability training division, the Davidson Institute.

The Need: 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 growth challenges extremely useful.

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

The Need: Women owners of established businesses may be considering their exit strategy. They value financial advice around the sale, retirement planning and possibly connections to Venture Capital firms. They equally value peer-to-peer mentoring and may be disposed to mentoring start-ups.

Individual Consumers

Segmenting women based on income strengthens the value proposition. 

The Need: Financial needs of high net worth customers include sophisticated wealth management, estate planning and potentially philanthropy advice. As these women are well connected, they will look to their financial services provider to offer a network that they cannot find elsewhere.

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

The Need: The Premium segment represents major growth potential in financial services as more and more women achieve professionally. This segment wants information on setting up trusts, wealth management, education savings and retirement, as well as professional networking and 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. Previous focus areas have included building a profitable business and leadership.

The Need: The mass market is a financial services provider’s widest customer base, with the most straightforward needs. There are opportunities, however, to increase share of wallet per customer and to leverage on their advocacy potential.

One Solution: Online communities can reach a large audience with minimal investment per user compared with in-person events. Westpac’s Ruby Connection is an interactive online community designed to inspire, connect and educate.

What Members Say