Business to invest in women’s capacity: UKRSIBBANK participated in HeForShe Congress 2020 and spoke about Women in Business Program
UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group participated in HeForShe Congress 2020 to speak about gender equality in Ukraine and present important information on the Women in Business National Program.
Andriy Kashperuk, Chief Operations Officer at UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group, joined the panel discussion as part of HeForShe Congress 2020, moderated by Vladyslav Rashkovan, Alternate Executive Director for Ukraine at the International Monetary Fund. The discussion focused on internal and external programs already created by business to contribute to women’s capacity building.
“Today, supporting women and understanding women’s great capacities to changing their environment, community and society is in the companies’ spotlight. Women’s professional skills, psychological traits and entrepreneurial acumen contribute to strong economic growth, according to international studies. This motivated UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group to launch the Women in Business National Program”, Andriy Kashperuk, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Operations Officer at UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group said. – “BNP Paribas has long been concerned about gender equality globally. As part of international financial Group, UKRSIBBANK is quite a progressive example”.
In particular, the Europe’s largest International Banking Group BNP Paribas, UKRSIBBANK belongs to, actively supports women entrepreneurs by creating favorable environment for women to start their own business and unleash their huge potential. Wherever BNP Paribas operates, the bank actively promotes sustainable growth, including gender equality, which is at the core of the BNP Paribas Engagement Strategy.
In 2018, BNP Paribas CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafé became an ambassador for the UN’s HeForShe Global Movement that urges men to support women’s initiatives and advocates equality in society. In 2019, UKRSIBBANK as part of the Group also supported the HeForShe initiative and, thus, emphasized the importance of gender equality in Ukraine and creating favorable environment for development of women and girls, particularly in business.
“At our bank, women account for the majority of all employees with more than a half of managers at various levels being women. At UKRSIBBANK, we decided to go further in supporting gender issue and to extend our particular attention to women entrepreneurs, our existing and potential female clients, to help them build up their business. It is a well-known fact that accomplished clients contribute to the bank’s success. This is how the Women in Business National Program started. Understanding the background before proceeding with the program was very important for us. In Ukraine, only 25-26% of SMBs are owned or managed by women, and though these figures correspond to global standards, the whole world says this is not enough. In addition, nearly 70% of women said they preferred to have their own business, rather than to be an employee. However, this gap between their ambitions and reality means that something seems to stop them”, – Andriy Kashperuk added.
According to market research, key factors preventing women from starting their own business include lack of expertise in management, taxation, marketing and other specific fields, lack of self-confidence and fear of taking risks, or lack of investment. Therefore, when developing the Women in Business Program UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group focused on these particular fields that hinder business development.
The Women in Business National Program includes three areas:
- Information and Advice for women in business.
After studying women’s needs, the bank has developed a number of dedicated workshops to help female clients develop and expand their business. In Autumn 2019, UKRSIBBANK held workshops in large cities of Ukraine addressing women’s features and strengths in business, tools for business development, innovations and Internet marketing. In 2020, we’ll go on with this practice and will hold online workshops to reach all parts of Ukraine and not to limit the number of women involved.
- Psychological support for women.
In this area, we aim to show women their infinite potential, help reveal their talents, encourage them not to be afraid to take risky steps, and to enjoy their work.
- Business development assistance and financing.
We are currently developing a special product for women entrepreneurs. It represents a comprehensive banking package that includes both traditional and tailored banking facilities with special consultations and valuable offers from our partners.
The Women in Business Program is currently expanding. Last year, UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group received positive feedback from women entrepreneurs, so we’re confident that the path we chose is right and that a lot of talented interested women are committed to developing their own business. Now, the bank’s mission is to do its best to promote our clients’ business, and, thus, contribute to sustainable economic development of Ukraine.
In addition, UKRSIBBANK is a long-standing partner for key events involving women and girls in development. These include UN HeForShe Congress, International Connecting Women Conference, European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad, Woman of Ukraine, etc.