Every year, billions of dollars are lost to women who lack access to capital and banking services. For a long time, women in the global economy were excluded from access to financial services. They had fewer bank accounts and worse access to credit. Across the globe, women suffer from low levels of financial literacy, and despite their financial capabilities and contribution to the economy, they are often left out of decision-making and finance flow. As women began to join the workforce at higher rates, a diversity of thought on how best to approach financial inclusion started to emerge. There was an emerging consensus that this situation would need to be addressed if women and more broadly underserved groups are to share fully in the benefits of globalization.
To address this issue, let’s have a look at how better gender data leads to women’s financial inclusion.
USE GENDER DATA AS A TOOL TO SHAPE POLICY AND REGULATION
By collecting and analyzing sex-disaggregated data, organizations can enhance the effectiveness of national-level policies and regulations for financial inclusion.
Organizations that implement financial inclusion programs need gender data to design, monitor and evaluate interventions that support women’s financial inclusion. The use of gender data can help clarify an intervention’s objectives, diagnose a problem, and establish a baseline for women’s financial inclusion. Furthermore, data helps organizations set key targets, define implementation activities, and develop success indicators.
TAILORING FINANCIAL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES BASED ON GENDER DATA
By gathering and analyzing gender data, financial institutions can create a more comprehensive picture of market opportunity and develop tailored products and services tailored to women’s needs. Gender data can help FSPs to:
- Identify new market opportunities,
- Establish a strategic rationale and a plan of action
- Measure the performance and profitability of women’s products and programs to support sustainable business strategies.
- The collection and analysis of gender data are essential for better understanding women’s needs, preferences, and financial behaviors.
DESIGN, MONITOR, AND EVALUATION OF PROGRAMS BASED ON GENDER DATA
Implementing financial inclusion programs requires gender data to support key steps. This type of data is particularly useful for identifying the gaps and opportunities in women’s financial inclusion that can be addressed through a specific initiative or program for setting key targets, monitoring, and evaluation.
Analyzing relevant gender data can help organizations know how women face specific barriers to accessing or using particular financial products and services from the standpoints of product, legal/regulatory, financial capabilities, digital financial literacy, and social norms.
To achieve our goal, we strive to make sure women and women-led businesses have access to and the ability to utilize a variety of financial services to develop their financial independence, contribute to economic growth, and take advantage of future job opportunities.
MERIT500 collects gender data and ranks companies based on their progress toward greater gender equality. By tracking this data, we enable all stakeholders to see the tangible business benefits of eliminating gender gaps. This includes investors, employees, entrepreneurs, and suppliers. We encourage companies to see gender data as a valuable, intangible asset.