This group will bring a gender lens to debates about various initiatives, ways to address challenges, and good practice within microfinance. The Gender Working Group activates to address specific topics related to SPTF’s work as needed. This working group is facilitated by Jaclyn Berfond, of Women's World Banking, and is assisted by Cara Forster, of SPTF.

Primary Activities

SPTF’s Gender Working Group participated actively in developing the Universal Standards for SPM and contributing the gender lens to the discussions during the development of the original standards (2012) and also the original indicators included in the SPI4 social audit tool.

In 2014, SPTF convened the two leading initiatives working on gender related indicators for microfinance to create the gender module of the SPI4. These are the two main resources used in the creation of that module:

◦ FOROLAC wrote a book on their Certification Seals on outcomes indicators, one of the Seals is on gender. The Gender Seal is described in detail starting on page 49 of the book

◦ Women’s World Banking did a lot of field-testing of their gender related output indicators. You can read more about these gender related output indicators in this paper.

The cutting-edge topic in gender that we are currently working on is how to measure women’s empowerment, which is currently being address through SPTF’s Outcomes Working Group, which is very active.

Other Resources

Organizational Gender Assessment Toolkit
This Women’s World Banking toolkit provides FSPs with the tools and guidance to conduct a self-assessment of their recruitment, retention, and promotion of female staff.

The Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) Database
The Global Findex is a World Bank project to measure how people in 148 countries (including the poor, women, and rural residents) save, borrow, make payments and manage risk. First published in April 2012, the data is updated annually.

Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA)

  • The GBA launched a Gender Working Group last year. Read more about their activities aimed at promoting representation and opportunity for women in the commercial banking sector here.

  • GBA's Gender Working Group commissioned a report from McKinsey on the impact of both gender and diversity inclusion in executive positions on the bank's financial performance. The report presents findings that banks with greater diversity and inclusion of women in leadership roles outperformed their peers significantly, by 20-30% on certain financial metrics. The full report is available here.

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