There has never been a more crucial time to continue convening as a global community and sharing insights into women’s economic empowerment. That is why Women’s World Banking has launched the virtual Making Finance Work for Women Thought Leadership series.

This new series gives you a continuous deep dive into Women’s World Banking’s research, expertise and upcoming projects while providing a platform for you to engage on these urgent topics.

What to expect:
Making Finance Work for Women
Thought Leadership Series is an ongoing virtual event series. Each event is led by Women’s World Banking experts, and will be focused on topics such as digital financial services, gender lens investing, fintech, and more.

Who will be there:
Industry experts and thought leaders from financial service providers, fintechs, NGOs, donors, investors, research firms, and more.

Join our next event in the series, the Fintech Innovation Challenge in October.

How to Attend:


Join the October event!

The Third Annual Fintech Innovation Challenge

In its third year, Women’s World Banking’s Fintech Innovation Challenge provides a global stage to highlight Fintech innovations serving unbanked and underserved women in order to build their security and prosperity in the face of global inequalities.

Despite years of progress in advancing financial inclusion, nearly 1 billion women around the world still remain excluded from formal financial services, and there is a persistent 9% gender gap across emerging markets. Moreover, the economic toll of COVID-19 has fallen disproportionately on women, exposing their particular vulnerability to global shocks. While the pandemic has accelerated the digitization of financial services, low-income women remain at risk of being left behind given the unique barriers they face to adoption and usage of digital financial services. Combined with broader inequalities for women such as rising unemployment, disparities in access to healthcare, and the effects of climate change, it is more imperative than ever that gender equality is at the center of recovery and growth.

During this event, watch the challenge finalists present their solutions and see who wins! The event will also feature a fireside chat with the Female Founder Award winner, and a panel discussion on driving inclusive polices for fintech.

9:00AM – 12:30PM EDT

9:00AM – 9:05AM EDT

Opening remarks


To be announced

9:05AM – 9:35AM EDT

Fireside Chat:
Advancing Women’s Leadership in Fintech
(with the Female Founder Award Winner)


To be announced

9:35AM – 9:40AM EDT


9:40AM – 11:10AM EDT

Fintech Innovation Challenge Finalists’ Presentations


To be announced


Katharine Budd, Co-founder & CEO, NOW Money
Sara Elinson, Principal, Americas Strategy & Transactions FinTech Leader, EY
Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President & CEO, Women’s World Banking
Dave Kim, Program Officer, Financial Services for the Poor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Pat Patel, Principle Executive Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore
Otto Williams, Senior Vice President, Head of Partnerships, Innovation and Digital Solutions, Visa CEMEA

11:10AM – 11:20AM EDT


11:20AM – 12:20PM EDT

Panel Discussion:
Driving Inclusive Policies for Fintech


Spiros Margaris, Founder, Margaris Ventures


Jo Ann Barefoot, CEO & Co-Founder, the Alliance for Innovative Regulation
Andi Taufan Garuda Putra, CEO & Founder, Amartha
Gerelt Telmen, CEO, Ard Credit JSC

12:20PM – 12:35PM EDT

Fintech Innovation Challenge Winner Announcement & Closing


Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President & CEO of Women’s World Banking


Watch our previous Making Finance Work for Women Thought Leadership Series events, along with curated presentations from the Making Finance Work for Women 2020 Summit.


Using AI to Develop Gender Sensitive Solutions
September 2021

watch now

Christina Maynes (Women’s World Banking)
Sonja Kelly (Women’s World Banking)
Claudia Juech (Patrick J. McGovern Foundation)
Harshvardhan Lunia (LendingKart
Pavel Vyhnalek (Home Credit Asia)
Janet Truncale (EY)
Samantha Hung (Asian Development Bank)

Empowering low-income women towards greater economic resilience under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
August 2021

watch now

Harsha Rodrigues (Women’s World Banking)
Mr. Amitabh Kant (NITI Aayog, Government of India)
Mr. Sanjiv Chadha (Bank of Baroda)
Pallavi Tewari Madhok (Women’s World Banking)
Sriraman Jagannathan (Women’s World Banking)

The Billion Dollar Opportunity: Unlocking the Social and Financial Return Potential of Gender Lens Investing
July 2021

watch now

Mary Ellen Iskenderian (Women’s World Banking)
Katherine Collins, (Putnam Investment)
Stephen O’Driscoll (European Investment Bank)
SoVonna Day-Goins (Credit Suisse)
Christina (CJ) Juhasz (Women’s World Banking)
Najada Kumbuli (Visa Foundation)
Cécile Billaux (European Commission)

Leveraging Digital Platforms for Women’s Financial Inclusion
June 2021

watch now

Harsha Rodrigues (Women’s World Banking)
Yasmin Bin-Humam (CGAP)
Jonathan Donner (Caribou Digital)
Yana Dumaresq Sobral Alves (Facebook Financial)
Julie Hogan (Diebold Nixdorf)
Sonja Kelly (Women’s World Banking)
Eleni Kyrou (European Investment Bank)

Empowering Women on a Journey ​​​​​​Towards Digital Financial Capability
April 2021

watch now

Mary Ellen Iskenderian (Women’s World Banking)
Lubasha Heredia (BCG)
Julia Arnold (Center for Financial Inclusion)
Marina Dimova (Women’s World Banking)
Samit Ghosh (Ujjivan Small Finance Bank)
Catherine Highet (CGAP/FinEquity)
Eva Johansson (SIDA)


Delivering on the Potential of Digitized G2P: Driving Women's Financial Inclusion and Empowerment
October 2020

Watch now

Designing E-commerce for Women in Emerging Markets
October 2020

Watch now

Building Resilience through Savings: Mobilization in India
October 2020

Watch now

Building a Habit: How Initial Saving Activity Predicts Long-term Account Engagement
October 2020

Watch now

Wage Digitization: Win-Win for Employers and Workers in Vietnam
October 2020

Watch now

Effective Ways to Activate DFS Accounts Leveraging Digital and Financial Capacity Building
October 2020

Watch now

Payment Digitization in Egypt: A Case Study for Leveraging Digital Channels
October 2020

Watch now

Making Microinsurance Work for Women
October 2020

Watch now

The Making Finance Work for Women Thought Leadership Series showcases over 40 years of experience in the financial inclusion sector and aim to drive actions that accelerate opportunities for low-income women around the world. Partnering with our event series can help you reach your audience and increase your presence in the financial inclusion space.

Sponsorship Benefits

Brand recognition and logo on all advertising materials and website

Social media coverage reaching Women’s World Banking’s 81K+ audience

Priority registration for employees and clients

Interview or blog entry about gender or financial inclusion-related issue close to company’s agenda

Featured video on Women’s World Banking’s YouTube channel and website

Speaking role during series event

Brown bag at company office with presentation from Women’s World Banking leadership team member






Network Members


Countries Represented

Past Sponsors Include

Reach out to Anna Tyor at today to secure your spot.

2021 Sponsors




We are grateful for the ongoing support of our core funders for enabling our strategy

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