Financial services firms can secure over $700bn in additional annual revenue if they better serve women, a study from Oliver Wyman claims.
To capture this extra revenue, Oliver Wyman believes firms should not treat women as a single customer segment. Instead, they should identify the various needs of women customers and use this to build tailored products and services.
The report found that retail and wealth products are not consistently tailored to women’s financial lifestyles and other products which appear to be gender-neutral are actually defaulted towards men, it said.
Jessica Clempner, Oliver Wyman principal and lead author of the report, said. “Women are arguably the single largest underserved group of customers in financial services. Despite playing increasingly influential roles as buyers of financial services, their needs are not consistently being met.
“Firms are leaving money on the table by not listening to and understanding their women customers.”
The new research also explores women in the workplace as employees, supervisors and shareholders. It concludes that firms need to take a broad approach to gender diversity to make meaningful progress.
It states that supervisors and shareholders are increasingly putting pressure on firms to generate better returns through diversity and inclusion.
The proportion of women on executive committees has increased to 20% from 16% globally since 2016. Additionally, the percentage of women on boards has reached 23%, an increase of 4% since 2016.
Despite this increase, CEO and chair representation are just 6% and 9%, respectively, and 21% of financial services companies’ executive committees and 15% of boards are filled entirely with men.
Israel is leading the way with women representation on executive committees with 38%. The US only has a 26% representation and the UK has a meagre 20%.
Oliver Wyman managing partner Ted Moynihan said, “Gender balance impacts a broad set of stakeholders in financial services.
“If the industry is to continue to make progress on gender balance, firms will need to recognize this and take a broad approach. Doing so will force gender balance onto the critical path for the CEO and will deliver better business outcomes.”
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