Report: Catalyzing Women’s Advancement into Decision-Making Roles in Indonesia’s Banking and Fintech Sectors

May 2, 2023

In Indonesia, five of every ten working-age women are engaged in the workforce compared to nine of every ten working-age men, the largest labor-force participation gap in Southeast Asia.

This gap persists despite strong progress in education and health for women in Indonesia. Within leadership positions in the banking and fintech institutions, the gender gap is even greater than the average across the economy. Women’s empowerment in the workplace is a strategic objective for the Government of Indonesia, which has articulated goals such as the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises’ call for 25% of board of director positions to be held by women by the end of 2023.

This report explores the challenges to and opportunities for women’s leadership within banks and fintech institutions. In doing so, it seeks to uncover perspectives on the gender gap reality among men and women professionals in the banking and fintech sectors in Indonesia. It also provides clear recommendations and evidence to support efforts to address these gender equality challenges.

This research follows on similar work conducted by Women’s World Banking in Nigeria, “Advancing Women as Leaders in Nigeria’s Finance Industry” (Iwueze & Baumann, 2022). While this report does not contain direct comparisons between Nigeria and Indonesia, the findings from the work in Nigeria were highly influential in building hypotheses on the biggest challenges for women—and the biggest opportunities for policymakers and financial services providers.