Leadership and diversity program
Rockflower Commitment: Support training of women leaders in serving the women's financial market
In 2009, in response to widespread questioning of the strength of leadership and management in the financial inclusion sector, Women’s World Banking launched a leadership development program with a mission to “develop principled and visionary leaders for the future of the industry.” The organization subsequently underwent a 30-month external evaluation of this program. Across the trajectory of the evaluation, participants shared stories of personal revelations and transformations, as well as outcomes in terms of promotions, changed practices, better portfolios, or more branch openings. This assessment showed evidence that core management skills, orientation toward investing in gender-diverse leadership, and enhanced understanding of the potential economic and social returns from women as a market segment – gained through participation in Women's World Banking’s leadership development training – link directly to promoting individual and institutional change.
Building upon the success of the initial program, Women’s World Banking revamped its offering to focus more intentionally on driving positive movement toward enhanced leadership and gender diversity at the institutional level. The goal of the Leadership and Diversity for Innovation Program (the Program) is to achieve institutional change by equipping leaders of financial institutions with the training and tools for innovation and capacity building that will enable them to better serve the women’s market.
Women’s World Banking designed the Program’s components to address identified leadership gaps and drive results at the individual, institutional, and market level:
- Lack of quality training opportunities for leaders serving low-income clients to address the women’s market, build the talent pipeline for business continuity and sustainability, improve institutional performance, and manage change
- Limited institutional capacity to innovate in order to serve the women’s market
- Training and coaching of senior leaders to expose them to the potential of the women’s market and help them: acquire skills and knowledge for serving this market segment, build the capacity of others, identify and support diverse talent, and create a culture that supports innovation
- Training high-potential women leaders, allowing them to find their authentic leadership voice, build their skills, and become internal champions for organizational diversity and serving the women’s market
- More high-potential women employees in the leadership pipeline, with leadership vision, professional development and action plans in place
- Stronger, more gender-diverse financial institutions better equipped to respond to the evolving needs of the market
- More customer-centric products and services designed to cater to the unique needs of underserved women customers
- Greater financial inclusion of un- and under-banked women through access to and understanding of relevant financial products and services
About Women's World Banking
Women's World Banking believes low-income women deserve the same access to financial resources as men. Women tend to save money and handle risk more responsibly than men. They reinvest 90% of their income back into their families, spending more on health care, food, and schooling. Yet they remain an under-served market—so Women’s World Banking equips financial institutions to better reach and empower them.
Providing women with the means to create their own economic security has been at the heart of Women’s World Banking’s work since it was established in 1979.
Fund building of schools in Takhar, Afganistan to create access to education for over 600 girls.
Fund economic empowerment training of 400 women in Kashmir's Gurase Valley.
Fund training of women leaders in serving the women's financial market.
Fund microloans and environmentally sustainable farming technologies for women farmers.
Fund expansion of vocational outreach initiatives and loan system targeted at women and girls.
Fund the creation of peace clubs in secondary schools opposing gender violence.
Fund a grant to foster an agricultural legacy in the desert by addressing food and water security and improve the livelihoods of rural women.
Fund programs to improve employment opportunities for women and girls through education and training.
Fund construction of grain mill for economic and community development for local women.
Fund a six month advocacy and awareness campaign for the prevention of child marriage and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Fund the construction of a permanent maternal health center at Chiran.
Fund campaigns to improve livelihoods of girls and women through marketable skills training.
Fund training in tailoring to reduce poverty among young women in rural Kenya.
Fund micro garden and mushroom production to increase food security and income generation.
Provide funding to enhance economic empowerment for 150 deserted women.
Support training of traditional birth attendants (Comadrona) in the rural areas of Guatemala.
Establish a women's collective for the women of El Astillero, Nicaragua.
Fund project to improve livelihoods of girls and women through mentor programing and training.
Fund sustainable maternal and reproductive health education services.
Establish a Women's Collective that provided cook stoves and training to low income households.
Empower women to deliver with dignity in rural Uganda.
Equip young women with business management skills.
Fund a biomass briquette initiative turning agro-waste and household by-products into an alternative to charcoal and fuel wood.
Support funding of tuition costs for girls attending vocational school.
Fund innovations in food security for 300 widows affected by Ebola.
Fund four communal shallow wells and two water selling kiosks.
Support conflict prevention and peace building.
Provide support for an end to the practice of female genital mutilation campaign.
Invest in scaling up the production of resusable sanitary pads and other feminine hygiene products to improve economic opportunities for low income families in Muheza, Tanzania and to keep girls in school.
Rockflower is partnering with the Association Burkinabé des Femmes Battantes (ABFB) over the next 12 months to install a weaving/dyeing loom in Godin village.