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IFC Sustainability

IFC's Gender Secretariat

Women in the private sector represent a powerful source of economic growth and opportunity. By strengthening women's roles as leaders, entrepreneurs, employees, consumers, and economic stakeholders, we can reinforce and transform the economy itself. This is exactly what IFC is setting out to do. IFC's Gender Secretariat program promotes business opportunities by assisting our organization and clients to take a gender view across all areas of business. A suite of IFC investment products and advisory services has also been developed to focus on:


  • Increasing access to finance and access to markets for women entrepreneurs.
  • Reducing gender-based barriers in the business environment.
  • Creating business opportunities for IFC clients built around improved working conditions for female employees, woman-focused market segmentation, and the inclusion of both men and women in community relationships.


IFC's Gender Secretariat is housed within the Advisory Services in Sustainable Business department of IFC. To learn more, contact the IFC's Gender Secretariat of specialists.



Gender takes center stage at the 2012 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Tokyo 


Women's economic empowerment took center stage at this year's IMF-World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Tokyo, Japan. IFC led the way in promoting women's participation in the private sector through a number of events which focused on increasing awareness, building global networks, and reaching out to the Japanese market.



October 11, 2012--Women in the Private Sector: Good for Development and Business

This session was organized by IFC Advisory Services and the Financial and Private Sector Development Vice Presidency (FPD) and was part of the Annual Meetings Program of Seminars. Experts from the private sector, civil society, and the public sector explored the challenges facing women in business and presented successful approaches to creating opportunities for women entrepreneurs.


» Watch the archived webcast

» Read related blog posts: Sleeping Giantess Awakes, Banking on Women in Egypt, Closing the Gap for Women in Business, Empowering Women is Smart Economics


October 12, 2012--IFC seminar and networking event: Women Business Leaders Shaping the Future 

This event focused on women's leadership, and aimed to raise awareness about the business and development case for investing in women's participation in the private sector. The event attracted IFC clients and potential partners from Asia and offered tools and tips for becoming stronger corporate leaders or members of corporate boards for the first time.


October 13, 2012--WINvest Launch 

WINvest is a global partnership initiative of the World Bank Group with private sector companies aimed at generating attention, ideas, and best practice that result in better working conditions and employment opportunities for women while improving business performance.



IFC's Gender Secretariat Resources


Project Examples | Publications | Videos





Carmen Niethammer | +1 (202) 458-1582 (Washington, DC, USA) |


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