Tools Workshop: How to Advance Gender Diversity and Leadership in Financial Services
Increasing women’s participation in the financial services industry, both as customers and in leadership and the workforce, can lead to improved financial and business performance. Research finds that a higher percentage of women in managerial positions and corporate boards is positively associated with improved institutional performance, such as funding obtained, revenues, and profitability. There is also evidence that points to how increasing gender diversity within institutions leads to innovation, which in turn translates into business value. So how can banks, MFIs, and FinTechs begin to realize this untapped opportunity?
This webinar was the first of a series of hands-on learning workshops featuring one of the key tools from the FinEquity resource guide on Gender Diversity and Leadership Development in Financial Services. In this workshop, Sarah Buitoni from Women’s World Banking provided a detailed walk-through on how banks, MFIs and FinTechs can use the Women’s World Banking ‘Gender Assessment Methodology’ to build strong, gender-diverse teams and position themselves to serve women’s markets. Using a brief confidential questionnaire, the methodology allows financial service providers (FSPs) to assess their strategic approach to gender equality, identify gaps and opportunities for improvement, learn about best practices on gender equality globally, set concrete goals and targets, and measure progress over time.
Shweta Singh from SEWA Grih Rin Limited (Sitara), an affordable housing finance provider from India, also spoke about their institutional journey to conduct the gender assessment using the Women’s World Banking methodology and the actions they have taken since in their efforts to serve the women’s market. After this workshop, participants who complete the Gender Assessment Survey will have an opportunity to discuss their results and develop a gender action plan during a follow-up clinic on April 20.
Sarah Buitoni is the Director of Leadership & Diversity Programs at Women’s World Banking. Sarah is responsible for designing and delivering learning solutions that help global financial inclusion leaders across the private and public sectors better serve women customers and build diverse talent. Prior to joining Women's World Banking, Sarah consulted on post-conflict and alternative education initiatives for UNICEF and worked with global organizations including the Women’s Refugee Commission and Institute of International Education. She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a BA in Latin American studies and Spanish from Barnard College. Sarah is a Co-Active® executive coach and holds certifications in the Center for Creative Leadership Benchmarks® 360 Assessment Suite, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI), and the Neethling Brain Instrument (NBI™). She is also a certified ATD Master Curriculum Designer®, Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, and Adaptive Leadership facilitator.
Shweta Singh has over 15 years of experience as a human resources professional. She is an HR leader who partners closely with businesses to shape the talent agenda, lead change management and diversity strategy, and is skilled in business planning, operations management, HR consulting, banking, and executive search. She has worked with management consulting firms, manufacturing, and housing finance. Prior to joining Sewa Grih Rin Ltd. as Head HR, she was associated with PNB Housing Finance as Chief Manager – HR (National Role), taking care of talent development, PMS, compensation and benefits, succession planning , employee engagement, and campus hiring agendas. In the past, she was also associated with among the most reputed HR management consulting (i.e., Mercer Consulting). She has worked both as an HR Consultant and in HR Business partnering roles. She is a MBA graduate with a specialization in HR.
Nisha Singh is FinEquity's Gender Transformative Solutions Technical Lead. She has over 17 years of experience promoting access to finance and financial market systems development, with a focus on women’s economic empowerment and inclusion. Nisha worked at The SEEP Network from 2008 and 2016 to promote inclusive market systems development by building partnerships across the 120+ SEEP member organizations and associated stakeholders. Since 2017 her work has focused on increasing economic opportunities for women through innovations in financial services as well as gender mainstreaming for private sector actors. Nisha has a master’s degree from the School of Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the University of Hyderabad.