What If It Had Been Lehman Brothers & Sisters? The Importance of Building Gender-Diverse Microfinance Institutions

Promoting an inclusive work environment in MFIs
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This paper presents the Organizational Gender Assessment (OGA) methodology that Women’s World Banking (WWB) designed in 2008 in response to a decreasing trend of women in senior management and governance within its global MFI network. It also presents findings from three OGAs that WWB conducted with MFIs in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The OGA draws on best practices from corporate and development sectors to help MFIs diagnose obstacles, challenges and opportunities faced by women staff members and leaders, to eliminate those obstacles and create an inclusive work environment for all. The OGA methodology focuses on four areas in which women may face challenges in the workplace, namely: recruitment, retention, promotion and professional development. The paper makes recommendations based on OGA findings from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. They include:

  • Identify forms of media that are more likely to reach women job candidates;
  • Design recruiting tactics that are targeted to include qualified women;
  • Leverage employees as ambassadors;
  • Recognize potential internal biases;
  • Identify under what conditions the institution should consider differentiated benefits for women and men;
  • Implement a gender awareness training program;
  • Establish a women’s network for employees.

About this Publication

By Lynch, E.