PRESS RELEASE | Lebanon’s Al Majmoua wins Women’s World Banking Excellence in Leadership Award

November 11, 2015

BERLIN—The Lebanese Association for Development – Al Majmoua has received Women’s World Banking’s 2015 Excellence in Leadership Award. The award, supported by Oliver Wyman, recognizes Al Majmoua’s commitment to promoting gender diversity among the organization’s staff, leadership and governance alongside its mission to serve low-income women.

“We have long admired Al Majmoua’s passion and innovation in serving low-income women in one of the most challenging markets in the world,” said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking. “The Excellence in Leadership Award celebrates its dedicated efforts to develop a diverse workforce that develops its women employees as leaders.”

Al Majmoua, which offers financial and other services across 22 branches in Lebanon, fosters gender diversity throughout its recruitment, retention and leadership development practices. The institution sends targeted SMS messages to recruit women professionals and provides staff with an incentive for referring women candidates. All employees are offered equal pay, flexible work hours, remote working options and other family-oriented benefits. The institution also works to showcase successful women employees and provides coaching and mentoring programs to support women’s professional development.

Today, women represent 57 percent of Al Majmoua’s total staff and 60 percent of the senior management team, up from 47 percent of staff and 50 percent of senior management just four years ago.

“Non-discrimination and equal gender opportunity is at the very heart of Al Majmoua’s culture, core values and business principles,” said Dr. Youssef Fawaz, Executive Director of Al Majmoua. “We embrace a diverse workforce as both a business imperative and competitive advantage in our mission to offer vital services to low-income individuals all over Lebanon without discrimination.”

Al Majmoua’s efforts are particularly critical as Lebanon currently hosts an estimated 2 million Syrian refugees. With a country population of 4.5 million, the refugee influx is causing considerable stress on Lebanon’s local resources, particularly as support from international relief organizations dwindles. Al Majmoua offers group loans to both Syrian refugees and their Lebanese host communities to  help finance income-raising activities as well as a range of non-financial services, including training in technical skills, entrepreneurship and business management, as well as help with managing tight household budgets.

“We are honored to recognize Al Majmoua’s achievements with the Excellence in Leadership Award,” said Finja Kuetz, Partner and Head of Oliver Wyman in Germany and Austria. “The organization’s steadfast commitment to gender diversity and serving women clients, even in the most adverse circumstances, is a model for expanding financial inclusion in the region.”

The Excellence in Leadership Award is presented alongside Women’s World Banking’s Making Finance Work for Women summit in Berlin this week where leaders from finance, mobile technology, payments and consumer brands are joining government representatives, microfinance pioneers and more to examine the latest and most promising trends in financial services for low-income women.