Knowledge@Wharton | Empowering Low-income Women through Access to Financial Services

July 31, 2015

Our Leadership and Diversity for Innovation Programco-developed with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Creative Metier for senior executives from high performing financial institutions around the world, was recently highlighted in Knowledge@Wharton. Knowledge@Wharton is knowledge hub of The Wharton School of Business. This program is being conducted in partnership with Credit Suisse and additional support from Cisco.

One way to increase inclusion is through the development of new kinds of financial products and services aimed expressly at women. Women require financial products and advice that appreciates their perspective and experience, according to Rodrigues. “The fact is,” she says, “when a bank develops a financial product with women in mind, it will most likely work for a man, but the reverse is not always true.”

But this presents a management and innovation challenge for organizations eager to win a share of this market. Research conducted by Women’s World Banking shows that most executives in financial institutions serving low-income clients have had little or no training in leadership or management.

Enter the LDIP program, which aims to teach participants how to create innovative products for female customers and give them a deep understanding of the nuances of that marketplace. “Our program participants — the women and men who run these MFIs — have typically not had extensive management training,” says Useem.

Read more here.