Female leaders outlook on the “new reality” after COVID-19

I already wrote about gender equality in the global fintech community a few months ago. Then the statistics left a great deal to be desired. However, the rapid pace of changes in the world and many female leaders from various countries and industries are changing the usual state of affairs and creating a new corporate culture, where gender equality takes on a new significance.

This also relates to modern Ukrainian fintech, where women are the driving force of the development and growth of the industry. According to the Ukrainian “TOP-50 Most Influential Women in Fintech” list prepared by UAFIC, United States Agency for International Development USAID and the EFSE Development Facility, 85% of the women from the list are top managers, and 83% took up management positions 6 years after the start of their career. 36% of the women on the list have gained experience in international markets. The list includes representatives of large venture funds and the NBU, as well as such companies as Visa, Mastercard, Vodafone, etc. I’ve also entered the top 50 and I am very grateful to all the members of the jury.

Put it otherwise, the general state of the fintech in Ukraine is at a fairly high level, and the appreciation for that should be also expressed to women.

Even though the International Day for Women’s Rights is already gone, I’ve still decided to write the blog about the female leaders outlook on today’s new norms of life. I will use the information from the survey conducted by KPMG, that covers the views of 675 female leaders from 52 countries and the 44% of these respondents come from companies with more than $500M in annual revenue.

What the survey reveals

This edition of the Global Female Leaders Outlook focuses on the new norms of life shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic. This crisis, compared with the previous ones, has the potential to ignite more persistent changes in all areas — from personal lives (working and schooling) to business (digital transformation) and the public issues (government regulation and engagement).

The economic impact of Covid-19 has already led to a sharp decline in growth in many countries. Analysts worldwide expect long-term negative impacts on the global economy, with some industries being more affected than others.

However, according to the report, the majority of female leaders around the world are embracing and successfully coping with the changes related to Covid-19, and are quite realistic about what the new reality holds for their companies. In fact, more than half (58%) of the leaders surveyed remain confident about their company’s growth prospects. As for the company’s revenues, almost half of the survey participants (47%) said that their company has the potential to exceed 2.5% in revenue growth.

In the post-covid world, business leaders will be expected to pay more attention to the voice of their customers. The growing e-commerce sector and the diffusion of digital communication tools have led to customers giving feedback more than ever before, influencing brand development and even entire business strategies. In addition 84% of survey participants believe that protecting customer data is now one of the key responsibilities for companies.

Positive consequences

ESG factors (environment, social activities and governance) are becoming increasingly relevant for companies stakeholders. Business strategies are now more focused on sustainable and environmentally-friendly development. 42% of Global Female Leaders believe that activities aimed at combating climate change will be even more important in the post-covid era. Another 45% expect the topic to remain as relevant as before, and only 4% think that its importance will decrease due to other workload.

Another positive consequence is that the companies have accelerated the digitalization of their customer, supply-chain and internal interactions and operations. So, amid the pandemic the digitalization processes in many companies have been accelerated by 3–4 years. And nine in ten (92%) of respondents noted that their companies still need to improve innovation processes, that is to be done in the near future.

The survey participants have perceived positively one more significant change — the new (remote) working mode. In fact, 97% of respondents indicate that they will continue to implement and expand the use of digital communication and interaction practices. Half of the respondents believe that the talent pool has gotten bigger due to the new opportunities and working options. A new work culture that is still developing under the current circumstances can also further gender equality and diversity, at least in the mid- to long-term.

Thus, the significant number of female leaders from various companies around the world don’t expect the pandemic to have a strong negative impact on their companies’ operations or their careers. I’m happy to see the positive thinking of the representatives of large companies, as a crisis creates new prospects and opportunities. Technologies and innovations will drive growth in development, customer experience and company’s revenue.

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CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank

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Alyona Shevtsova (Degrik)

Alyona Shevtsova (Degrik)

CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank

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