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Research Specialist

Title: Research Specialist

Reports to: Director, Consumer Insights & Engagement

Classification: Exempt

Location: New York

Start Date: ASAP

About Women’s World Banking

Women’s World Banking is the global leader in women’s financial inclusion. Rooted in our deep understanding of the women’s market, we tackle financial inclusion in three interconnected ways: first, by partnering with financial services providers to develop scalable market-driven solutions; second, through our gender-lens private equity fund; and, finally, because diverse institutions are proven to be stronger, we build institutional capacity through leadership and diversity programs. Through this holistic approach and our global reach of 49 institutions in 31 countries, we accelerate economic opportunity for low-income women and growth for financial service providers in the emerging markets.

Recent studies indicate that more than 1.3 billion women worldwide remain outside the formal financial system. Women’s World Banking is dedicated to providing access to financial services to as many of these un- and underbanked women as possible. Beyond reaching the largest number of women, and ensuring that they are served well, Women’s World Banking also wants to understand the emotional, behavioral and psychological barriers to banking. We want to use this understanding to develop solutions that meet her financial needs better than she dreamed possible.

Women’s World Banking is seeking an energetic Research Specialist to drive our research agenda, build out our qualitative toolkit, and further establish Women’s World Banking as a thought leader and industry expert in financial inclusion for women.

The successful candidate will:

  • bring best practices and new research methodologies to Women’s World Banking’s qualitative research toolkit;
  • lead research engagements from design through analysis;
  • be able to quickly identify themes and develop “the story” as work unfolds in the field, and communicate the findings clearly and succinctly to clients;
  • seamlessly integrate with the design team to support our human-centered design initiatives;
  • incorporate clear understanding of business needs in the research design and execution; and
  • share knowledge and develop the research and strategic thought capacity of the team


This position will be responsible for driving the qualitative aspects of the research strategy to gain a deeper understanding of the behavioral and emotional components of our consumers’ relationships to money and banking. S/he will use this knowledge to help shape the scope of our engagements, lead research projects, and develop the capacity of his/her team.

S/he will also lead our market intelligence work, guiding the team to develop comprehensive intelligence reports on our priority markets. S/he will develop a deep understanding of the dynamics of those markets, follow industry trends and stay abreast of developments in the financial inclusion space. S/he will establish the team as the go-to resource for market intelligence.

The ideal candidate will be able to quickly identify themes, develop “the story” and produce high-quality presentations to share internally as well as externally. S/he will represent Women’s World Banking in relevant conferences and speaking engagements to share research insights and their applicability, thereby influencing and enhancing the dialogue around financial inclusion.

Within the first 75 days:

  • Assume full responsibility of the position;
  • Build the foundation for a strong managerial and mentoring relationship with your staff;
  • Forge positive working relationships with cross-functional staff;
  • Embrace Women’s World Banking’s unique characteristics and offerings;
  • Learn and comprehend the Women’s World Banking business model;
  • Become trained in and fully integrate the use of Women’s World Banking systems and policies into your day-to-day activities;
  • Develop a road map to achieve targets and deliverables for the year.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Economics, Sociology, Anthropology or related field;
  • Minimum 7 years’ experience in applied research, including field research, research design, data collection, analysis and reporting
  • Knowledge and experience working with low-income populations in developing countries and/or experience in promoting women’s economic issues


  • Track record of successfully managing projects with cross functional teams, strategic alliances and partnerships;
  • Culturally sophisticated interpersonal skills with the ability to build productive relationships internally and externally;
  • Success working in an entrepreneurial environment where limited resources are leveraged to produce maximum results;
  • Experience with design-thinking or other human-centered design methodologies;
  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills;
  • Fluency in English required, Spanish/French/Hindi a plus;
  • High degree of professionalism, with a demonstrated ability to manage responsibilities with integrity and tact;
  • A sense of humor and demonstrated poise under pressure; and
  • Willingness to take on significant travel to emerging markets.

Women’s World Banking is an equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, color, citizenship, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran or reservist status or any other category protected by federal, state or local law.      EOE    M/F/V/D

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