Following a long tradition of believing in women as strong business leaders, FINCA has launched an initiative to raise the profile of women within the FINCA network, both staff and clients. On the staff side, in just seven months we have established more than a half dozen opportunities for women at FINCA to help chart their course toward leadership as part of our new Women’s Initiative:
- Completed a needs analysis, the results of which helped us develop a pilot program for female professionals to help them rise to managerial level.
- Held women-focused leadership roundtables in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Jordan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uganda to understand their challenges better, and find out how we can support them and sensitize local leadership about advancing women.
- In our Pakistan subsidiary, our women employees are completing individual development plans and having one-on-one meetings with a senior woman – a form of female workplace mentoring often hard to find in any culture, in any country!
- Created “international management secondment” opportunities with a particular focus on women at FINCA. Most recently, a senior woman from our DC headquarters office was sent on a long-term secondment to Jordan to work as FINCA Jordan’s Deputy CEO.
- Strengthened our work-life balance policy, and we back that up by written guidelines and work arrangements. When our staff members need to be closer to family members, we help set up remote working arrangements, or facilitate transfers to closer FINCA locations. For example, a FINCA staff member was able to advance from a project manager role to become a deputy regional director while modifying work arrangements to be with her family.
- Most recently, launched a LinkedIn group for FINCA women to connect and share information about leadership, networking, and other topics.
- Brought in outstanding women leaders, including our own FINCA board member Rachel Robbins, to speak to our staff – from the U.S. to Tanzania – about women in leadership. This month Samantha Collins, CEO of the Aspire Foundation, will be speaking to FINCA women around the world in a two-part webinar. We are planning on having other great topics and high-level speakers, such as inviting women ambassadors and discussing ways we can expand financial access for women in countries where local support for female financial inclusion is traditionally low.