Work and Meaning – Women Rocking Wallstreet with Andree Simon
Helping Women is a Financial and Social “Win-Win”, says CEO Andree Simon.
In the interview, Simon recalls her team looking at woman-oriented programs as a new way to benefit FIF’s social mission –
Our team has been talking a lot in the last couple of years about how important it is to be intentional. For many years we were gender agnostic, but what we’re coming to really see is that it’s predominantly women that are financially excluded, and in order to get them included, intentionality has to be there. Intentionality about the clients, but also our staff, and our board.”
Having a Safe Space to Save is Important
Early on in the podcast, Simon touches on the fact that many of FINCA’s clients “have never been able to walk into a commercial bank and feel acknowledged”. For women, Simon posits, this reality can be compounded in countries with stringent cultural norms and a high safety risk. By specifically targeting these women, FINCA saw new levels of profitability –
“At the client level, we’ve created women only branches. In Afghanistan, after finding that [female consumers] are more comfortable in a women-only environment, we said okay “we’re going to pilot this idea”. We tested it, and it was profitable faster than our traditional mixed branch. We’re going to be opening more of them.”
Women are a Good Financial Investment Across the Board
Finca’s recent projects have confirmed Simon’s belief that women are strong financial clients that offer lots of upside from both a financial and social perspective. Moreover, the work has opened her eyes to the possibilities of generating similar ventures in various other financial sectors –
“We’ve come to realize that across all financial services generally, not just in FINCA’s world, women require a slightly different approach with financial services. If you are able to meet their unique needs, they ultimately are generally better clients when it comes to credit quality and generally stay with financial institution longer. For us, it’s a win-win from a social impact perspective and also a financial health perspective.”
Listen to the entire podcast HERE.