Launch of Gender Diversity & Women’s Leadership special report with National Bank of Cambodia

2018-04-27

Launch of Gender Diversity & Women’s Leadership special report with National Bank of Cambodia

National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) together launched the AFI Special Report, Gender Diversity & Women’s Leadership, followed by a training on sex-disaggregated financial inclusion data.

“Gender diversity within the financial sector should first begin with central banks and policymakers,” said Serey Chea of NBC, a strong advocate of women’s financial inclusion and empowerment, and an esteemed member of Gender & Women’s Financial Inclusion Committee (GWFIC), during the launch.

The study that informed this special report aims to explore the current practices, gaps, and progress in institutional gender diversity among selected AFI members and to identify barriers that prevent progress in this area. It also seeks to recommend actions and initiatives that can promote gender diversity at the institutional level, including in leadership positions.

“The Special Report on Gender Diversity and Women’s Leadership in AFI Member Institutions serves as AFI’s first step to drive institutional gender diversity, as committed under the Denarau Action Plan (DAP) Action Point 10,” conveyed Norbert Mumba, AFI Deputy Executive Director at the launch.

Key findings of the report highlight that gender diversity is perceived to drive more effective policymaking such as advancing women’s financial inclusion. All members interviewed, perceived promoting diversity in the workplace results in enhanced efficiency, productivity, and innovation. 

Others believed that gender balanced institutions pursue a comprehensive approach to decision-making due to the diversity of ideas and perspectives that are brought to the decision-making table.  This is evident in the experience of the Bank of Zambia, Central Bank of Egypt, Central Bank of Jordan, and the National Bank of Rwanda, which all have women in leadership positions who champion and drive the reformulation and development of financial inclusion policy and regulation that more meaningfully target women.

Sex-disaggregated data is a crucial first step to address the gender gap. It can help inform evidence based financial inclusion policy making and track the effectiveness of efforts to address barriers facing women. Recognizing this value, 79% of surveyed AFI members reported in 2016 that they collect some form of supply or demand side sex-disaggregated data. This represents growing momentum and interest by policy makers and regulators in collecting this data to contribute towards achieving financial inclusion goals.