Banks and financial companies could generate more than $700 billion in additional annual revenues if they could better serve their female customers, a target that is under-served despite playing an increasingly important role as buyers of financial services. At stake is a much higher figure than the annual revenues of many players in the financial world. This is revealed in the Women in Financial Services 2020 report by global consulting firm Oliver Wyman.
Little attention to the women’s segment. “Women are the largest underserved client segment in financial services but their needs are not being met,” explains Jessica Clempner, principal and lead author of the analysis. “By not listening and not understanding their female clientele,” adds the expert, “companies are leaving potential revenue on the table. To capture this revenue, companies should understand the needs of their women and create specific products and services for them, thereby improving the offer for the rest of their customers. In particular, retail and wealth management products are not designed consistently with women’s financial needs, and other seemingly ‘neutral’ products are oriented towards men.
Italy penultimate in the EU for gender gap, active women only 56%.
Women in leadership positions. The report examines the position of women as workers, supervisors and shareholders and highlights the fact that in order to achieve significant progress, companies must approach gender diversity more broadly. In this sense the pressure to generate more profit through diversity and inclusion is growing. The global proportion of women on executive boards has grown from 16% in 2016 to 20% today, and the proportion of women on boards has reached 23%, an increase of 4% compared to three years ago. However, the sector still has a long way to go. Representation among CEOs and in chairmanship roles is far too low, at 6% and 9% respectively. 19% of executive committees and 15% of Boards of Directors of financial services companies are still made up entirely of men.
Istraele excels, late Italy. Looking at the differences between countries, Israel excels with 38% representation on executive committees, followed by Australia, Sweden, Finland, Thailand, Norway, Canada and South Africa. The lowest percentage is found in Saudi Arabia; China, Japan and South Korea are also bad. Italy is decidedly below average, with only 13% women on the executive committees, even slowing down compared to 2016 (when the figure was 14%). Our country does better if we look at the presence of women in the Boards of Directors – 3 5%, a figure above the European average – but the gap compared to the female quota in the executive committees is the widest in Europe, which suggests that legislative interventions have solved the issue only at a formal level, and not at a cultural one.