Scotiabank is launching The Scotiabank Women Initiative, a comprehensive programme empowering women to take their businesses to the next level.
In addition, the initiative aims to advance women-led businesses through access to capital, education and mentorship.
Academic research and Scotiabank’s own exploration has shown that women business leaders face significant challenges in achieving growth.
Scotiabank is confronting this issue by offering meaningful support to female entrepreneurs in order to help them take their businesses to the next level.
The Scotiabank Women Initiative three pillars:
- Access to Capital. Scotiabank is deploying finance to support the growth of women-led small and mid-market businesses. In addition, Scotiabank will ensure equal access to its full suite of financing solutions. Female business owners/leaders can leverage a financial partner to help support their growth.;
- An advisory board, made up of men and women with deep experience in financial services has been created. This will help women grow their business through facilitated small group membership sessions. These sessions will cover pre-identified topics and complex business problems. Clients will have the opportunity to interact with senior leaders as well as other like-minded women in business.
- Through Un-Mentorship Boot Camps, Scotiabank will provide access to a series of sessions that “un-teach” traditionally-held ideas about how to succeed. The sessions explore business-focused issues like governance, adopting technology, and recruiting and retaining employees with Scotiabank executives and other experts. In addition, they will hear from other successful women and advisory board members.
“To help shape this programme, Scotiabank consulted with customers, researchers and industry leaders to understand more fully the challenges women business leaders face,” says Gillian Riley, Executive Vice-President, Scotiabank.
Scotiabank Women Initiative: tackling unconscious bias
“Specifically, we learned about unconscious bias and its effects on women business owners and their ability to access financing. For example, the ratio of requested versus approved debt for women is significantly lower than for men.
“We will better understand and serve women business leaders, and be a valued partner in their success.”
To celebrate the launch of The Scotiabank Women Initiative, Scotiabank hosted a panel discussion at the Scotiabank Centre.
The event featured a panel of female business executives who discussed their challenges in owning and leading businesses.
Keynote speakers at the event included Gillian Riley and Sarah Kaplan, Professor and Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto.
“The Scotiabank Women Initiative is being piloted in Canada with Commercial Banking clients, with an eye to future expansion,” adds Riley.
“However, we don’t see this just as a business opportunity, but also as our way of helping address an important social challenge.”
The website www.scotiabankwomeninitiative.com sets out full details on the programme including each of the three pillars.