Starting a women’s initiative has been something The Provident Bank — New Jersey’s oldest community bank — has wanted to do for a long time.
“Women have power as financial decision makers, so we decided to conduct a survey with customers and non-customers on women’s attitudes toward banking,” said Diana Braga, public relations & corporate donations manager at Provident Bank.
Provident received some alarming results:
Additionally, Provident Bank learned that women generally view themselves as members of a community before they view themselves as individuals, and also use social media more often and in different ways than men do.
“Learning about women’s attitudes is how we decided to develop a program to meet those needs,” Braga said.
After conducting research, creating the program and launching Facebook and LinkedIn pages back in June, the Provident4Women online community launched Monday.
“The 20 women who are members of Provident4Women are from all different walks of life,” Braga said.
“What we hope to do is connect with women by relating through our experiences in addition to providing them with financial advice.”
The website focuses on four areas of interest: family and home; career and business; life goals; and investments.
Examples include Dawn Scocco’s “A Step Back Can Lead to Two Steps Forward,” a personal insight into the struggles the portfolio manager in business banking at Provident Bank faced during her career.
Or “I Want to Start Investing! How Do I Begin?” by Diana Allard, another portfolio manager at Provident Bank, which provides helpful tips on how to start saving when it seems too confusing.
“Women told us they want stories and tips from women,” Braga said. “They’re also seeking to have conversations with women who have similar experiences and challenges. That’s what Provident4Women is all about — we’re women helping women.”
Also on NJBIZ's Women in Business "Breaking Glass" blog: