WISE Development Director, Dinah Bennett OBE, calls for banks globally to take much-needed action to better serve women in business. In a recent article published by Dinah on her blog for the International Centre for Entrepreneurship (ICE), she explains that although there has been a shift in awareness of the need to improve financial support for women, significant change is still not forthcoming.
In her article “3 simple steps for banks to better serve women in business“, Dinah makes a call to action for banks, explaining that there are three simple steps that can be taken, focusing primarily on banks undertaking a review of their internal organisation, their external communications and marketing, and the delivery approaches being adopted. She challenges banks to evaluate whether, by looking at each area through a gender-lens, they can find areas for development, without needing to add new, tailored services for women.
Dinah suggests practical ideas such as loan payment holidays for business women who are taking maternity leave, and the appointment of internal ambassadors for women in business within banking institutions (ensuring that both male and female ambassadors are selected). She also calls for effective market segmentation, asking banks to look further than the label of ‘women’ and recognising that at over 50% of the business population more detailed segmentation must be undertaken to improve the way banks connect with, and service, female entrepreneurs.
The article ends with a proposition to banks that they would benefit most from leading the change in the market, and that by doing so they will increase their profits, whilst contributing positively to the business sector and the economy.