IFC employs over 4,000 people. With our staff representing over 150 nationalities and speaking more than 50 languages, creating a culture that recognizes, values, and harnesses what makes every individual unique is essential.
Having inclusive leaders is critical to ensuring staff’s uniqueness is leveraged, and that diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of the organization. IFC is continually working to find innovative ways to equip leadership, especially people managers, with tools and skills to break biases and foster a more inclusive workplace.
Empathy and empowerment are essential attributes of inclusive leadership. Leaders who demonstrate these attributes make our organization stronger by creating an atmosphere of trust, safety, and belonging for all.
The efforts listed below offer a sample of our work to strengthen inclusive leadership throughout the institution:
Partnership with Georgetown University: In Your Shoes
In summer 2021, IFC invited Georgetown University’s Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics to deliver a series of workshops called “In Your Shoes.” Led by our DEI Council, approximately 60 employees took part in the program and discussed a wide range of topics, from name pronunciation to the concept of home.
The result is a powerful reminder of what happens when colleagues allow themselves to be vulnerable and open with one another. As one participant shared, “What I found extremely eye-opening is a new way to establish rapport… that goes beyond a business relationship. I am carrying something that I will try to do more often—which is to pay attention to things that are not written.”
“You and I are Invested”
Juliet Nakato Kintu, who works in the IFC Controller’s Department in Washington, DC, shared with colleagues a powerful poem she wrote titled “You and I Are Invested.” The poem was first delivered at a departmental meeting, aimed at having a diversity, equity, and inclusion message that would speak to every listener and embody the work to explore new approaches to share DEI messaging with staff. Soon, the poem was shared widely across the WBG and IFC by the WBG Taskforce on Racism.
Ms. Kintu, a Ugandan national, was inspired to write the poem to provide an understanding on what diversity, equity and inclusion really mean in the workplace. She felt that many people think they understand diversity but are not always clear how to live it daily. The poem speaks to simple acts that can make colleagues feel excluded while simultaneously reminding everyone that being inclusive is a choice.
The Key Role of Managers and Team Leaders
Adriana Eftimie, Judith Green, Marcela Ponce, and Martin Habel are just a handful of the talented managers and team leaders in our organization who are helping us achieve this goal, not only as past and current members of our DEI Council, but day to day in their interactions with staff across grades and regions.
Pacific Islands, Australia, and New Zealand
"As a Black woman, diversity, equity, and inclusion has always been important for me – I live it every day. What has been rewarding for me as a country manager is the ability to facilitate change working with regional teams. Many of us do not realize our own unconscious bias and, as a result, a significant challenge is that recognition. No one should feel or be disadvantaged because of their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability of background."
Senior Operations Officer, Sustainable Infrastructure
“For me, being an inclusive leader means creating an environment where everyone on my team is valued for their strengths and treated with respect and fairness. It means supporting colleagues to feel empowered and appreciated, while creating the space for shared and divergent perspectives to be acknowledged and celebrated. Inclusive leaders are agents of change and growth; teams that adopt a culture of diversity and inclusion are unstoppable in achieving excellence.”
Manager, Treasury Client Solutions
"I believe diversity and inclusion is critical to create a stronger, fairer, more resilient, and more impactful IFC. I'm encouraged to see the broad support and awareness across the institution today. Making DE&I work, however, needs everyone in the organization to contribute, and I'm happy to be part of it."
Senior Industry Specialist, Climate Business
"The issues IFC works on are complex and multidimensional. We need the critical thinking and creative perspective that only truly diverse teams can bring to the table. As leaders, we must understand that only by including people with diverse backgrounds in our teams we will be able to tackle mounting global challenges, such as climate change, and properly create solutions that mitigate the problems faced by everyone, but especially by the most vulnerable."