Creating Opportunity Where It's Needed Most
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IFC Sustainability

Women as Employees


IFC works with client firms to identify opportunities and strategies to improve the workplace so both women and men can perform their jobs well. This makes good sense from a business performance perspective, as well as from a human perspective.


Better Productivity, Better Working Conditions


Women make up 40 percent of the world’s work force. Yet women-focused employment practices are often overlooked. Productivity often remains low and a lack of training keeps advancement opportunities limited. Meanwhile, more than half of the women participating in the global labor force are engaged in the informal economy, rather than salaried or wage work.


The Business Case for Women's Employment  


Promoting adequate employment conditions for women can be a ‘win-win’ situation for employers and employees alike, bringing benefits to women and increasing productivity in business performance.


With a Secretariat housed in IFC, WINvest (women-specific investment) is the World Bank Group’s Global Partnership initiative with the private sector on women’s employment. This two-year initiative aims to bring together IFC clients and private sector partners with a vested interest in substantiating the business case for improving working conditions and employment opportunities for women.


Concretely, WINvest aims to:


  • Raise the profile of companies operating in emerging markets that are promoting greater inclusion of women in their workforce;
  • Identify and provide guidance on successful approaches that can be replicated in other companies; and,
  • Capture and communicate the business rationale for where and when improving working conditions for women can result in higher business performance.


The members of WINvest include:


Anglo-American, Mining, Global; Belcorp, Cosmetics, Peru; Chindex, Health, China; Hitachi, Electronics, Japan; Istanbul Deniz Otobuesleri (IDO), Transport, Turkey; Kuwait Energy, Oil & Gas, Kuwait; Mriya, Agribusiness, Ukraine; Nalt Enterprises, Garments, Vietnam; Newmont, Mining, Global; Odebrecht, Construction, Brazil/Africa; PepsiCo, Food & Beverage, Asia-Pacific; Rio Tinto, Mining, Global; Safaricom, Telecom, Kenya; Sumitomo Chemical, Chemicals, Japan; Zulekha Hospitals, Health, UAE.


Wider Reform for Greater Development Impact


IFC also works with policymakers, government, business associations, successful businesswomen, civil society, and academia to ensure that women-focused initiatives and reforms are part of wider employment generation efforts. This includes women’s access to management and financial skills training opportunities.

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