Women’s World Banking & Alliance for Financial Inclusion

Leadership and Diversity Program for Regulators

Supporting financial regulators to develop policies that close the gender gap in financial inclusion; Building the women’s leadership pipeline in regulatory organizations.

This virtual, 12-week global program, taught by Women’s World Banking and Faculty from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, implemented together with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, brings together senior officials (male/female/nonbinary) from central banks and other regulatory agencies and high-potential women from their respective institutions. Each senior official identifies a policy initiative to sponsor at their institution related to serving the women’s market, and will work with their high-potential woman leader to implement it, while simultaneously supporting her professional development during and after the program.

The virtual program begins in May 2, 2022.

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What it is:

This 12-week leadership development program equips senior officials from central banks and other regulatory agencies in emerging markets with the skills to create an enabling environment for women’s financial inclusion and advance women leaders within their institutions. The program is taught by Women’s World Banking and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and implemented together with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

What happens:

Participants join a series of interactive, live online sessions, individual and group assignments, peer action learning and expert consultation opportunities. Each senior official identifies a policy initiative to advance women’s financial inclusion, and selects a high-potential woman leader from their institution with whom to partner in designing and implementing this initiative. The senior official invests in the woman leader’s professional growth through career mentorship and sponsorship.  Senior officials will receive 4 executive coaching sessions.

Why it is unique:

For nearly 20 years, Women’s World Banking has trained leaders from more than 80 countries.  This is the only program for financial regulators at the intersection of leadership development and women’s financial inclusion. It equips participants with technical and strategic know-how to design gender-inclusive policy, and leadership skills to affect change. With a specific dual-track approach, senior officials gain the tools to sponsor their women leaders, modelling an approach for building a pipeline of gender diverse talent within their institutions.

What participants gain:

With expertise from Women’s World Banking, Alliance for Financial Inclusion and Oxford Saïd Business School’s world-class faculty participants will gain:

Leadership Skills: Learn core skills such as change management, influence, negotiation, emotional intelligence, and unconscious bias.

Women’s Financial Inclusion Knowledge: Understand global challenges and best practices in gender-inclusive policy design and implementation.

A Global Network: Engage in an action learning methodology that leverages peer-to-peer learning and support.

Tuition cost: Fee per institution/pair:

Non-members of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion: USD 7,000 
Members of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion: USD 5,000

The program fee includes access to all virtual content, course materials, executive coaching (senior regulators), and engagement in all peer activities and expert advisory for two participants per institution.

Full scholarships are available. Only completed applications will be considered. Email us for more information after submitting your application.

Senior Official

  • Senior officials from central banks and other regulatory agencies in emerging markets
  • Part of executive/senior management team or leads a regulatory division
  • Male/female/nonbinary participants can apply

High-Potential Woman Leader*

  • Mid-level professional, 5-10 years of experience
  • Exhibits skills and capability to be promoted to the next level of leadership or broaden their role significantly
  • Has demonstrated the ability to lead people in the organization
  • Motivated to take on new leadership challenges and opportunities
  • People managers preferred but not required

Both Participants

  • A commitment to:
    • Advancing an inclusive policy initiative
    • Cultivating and fostering an active sponsorship relationship
    • Actively participating in online and peer learning sessions
  • Exhibiting proficiency in written and spoken English

*Note that the senior official will select the women leader after being accepted into the program.

Who should be applying?

Governors, Deputy Governors and Senior Officials (male/female/nonbinary) from central banks and other financial regulatory agencies (e.g. banking, insurance, microfinance, pensions, etc.) in emerging markets. They should be part of the executive/senior management team or lead a regulatory division and have a commitment to development of gender-inclusive policy. High-potential women leaders do not need to submit an application. Nominees will be confirmed by the senior official following acceptance into the program.

Do men also participate in this program?

Absolutely. This course is open to everyone and includes the active participation of men who see the value of the program and critical learnings applicable to various professional contexts.

How do I nominate and confirm the high-potential woman leader participant?

Senior officials must select the high-potential woman leader after admittance, but are required to indicate one or more potential nominees on the application form in order to be considered by the admissions committee. Selection criteria for the woman leader are as follows:

  • Mid-level professional, 5 – 10 years of experience
  • Exhibits skills and capability to be promoted to the next level of leadership or broaden their role significantly
  • Has demonstrated the ability to lead people in the organization
  • Motivated to take on new leadership challenges and opportunities
  • People managers preferred but not required

How is this program unique from other programs?

The program will run for three months, from May 2, 2022 to July 29, 2022. Following completion of the core curriculum, participants will work independently to advance their selected gender-inclusive policy initiative before presenting their final capstone in September 2022.

All participants – men, women, and nonbinary – will join two live sessions per week (12 weeks) and dedicating approximately 5 hours per week, comprising pre-session work, attending the sessions, post-session work, along with ongoing engagement with a leadership coach and in peer-group coaching sessions.

  • Coaching sessions (Senior officials): 4 sessions of 1 hour each (4 hours)
  • Advisory and peer-to-peer consultations: approximately 4 hours
  • Capstone presentations: 2 hours

Following the completion of the four-month program, each pair will share progress on their gender-inclusive policy during a virtual peer-to-peer consultation and will present on their policy initiative and submit a capstone report documenting progress. Participants are also required to report back to Women’s World Banking at the one-year mark following program completion.

What is sponsorship and how is that different from mentoring?

Mentors provide feedback, access to information and help mentees understand what are often referred to as the “unwritten rules for success”. Sponsors do all of that and actively advocate for the person they are sponsoring (called the “protégé”). This can include facilitating introductions to high-level contacts, stretch assignments that can help advance the protégé’s career, or actively advocating for opportunities for the protégé in their institution.

Can I nominate more than one (1) high-potential women for this program?

Each institution is guaranteed space for one (1) high-potential leader to accompany the executive. Upon acceptance to the program, senior officials are welcome to nominate up to two (2) high-potential women leaders to join the program.  A second will be accepted as space allows. Attendance by more than one high-potential participant will require sponsorship of both women by the senior officials during the program and the involvement of both women in the women’s financial inclusion policy initiative.

What is the policy initiative?

The Leadership and Diversity Program for Regulators offers you the opportunity to bring a gender-inclusive policy you are working on into the program. You will work on your initiative throughout the duration of the program, with support from experts at Women’s World Banking and Oxford. Relevant topics include gender-inclusive policy design, stakeholder mapping, change management, etc.
A good fit for the policy initiative will have the following characteristics:

  • Promotes financial inclusion while maintaining a balance with financial sector stability and consumer protection
  • Promotes outreach of financial services in a competitive and secure marketplace
  • Improves the environment for financial inclusion
  • Reduces the financial vulnerabilities of families at the base of the pyramid
  • Creates an enabling legal and regulatory environment for women

For example, gender-inclusive policy initiatives may focus on:

  • Expanding access to digital finance (transaction accounts, digitized payments, etc.)
  • Sex-disaggregated data collection
  • Development and implementation of a financial consumer protection framework
  • Raising financial awareness and capability (Consumer, SME, etc.)

What is the capstone?

The capstone presentation is a report back to peers and faculty on steps taken towards moving the identified financial inclusion policy initiative forward. Participants will have a period of six (6) months after the virtual program to make progress on their policy initiative before being asked to report back. The capstone provides an opportunity to showcase any tangible steps taken and receive feedback from peers.

What does the program fee cover?

The program fee includes access to all virtual content, course materials, executive coaching (senior regulators), and engagement in all peer activities and expert advisory for two participants per institution.

Are scholarships available?

Full scholarships are available.Only completed applications will be considered. Please email us for more information after submitting your application.

Will I receive a certificate?

Upon successful completion of the program, each participating leader will receive a certificate of completion from Women’s World Banking, Alliance for Financial Inclusion and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

What types of institutions have participated in the past?

73 leaders from 28 regulatory authorities in 24 countries have participated, including central banks, financial regulatory authorities, ministries of finance, reserve banks, and national insurance commissions, including:

  • Central Bank of Egypt
  • Central Bank of the Philippines
  • National Bank of Rwanda
  • Central Bank of Nigeria
  • Bangladesh Bank
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
  • Bank Indonesia
  • National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) Mexico
  • National Insurance Commission Ghana

About Oxford University’s Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact.  We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

About Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)

AFI is the world leader on financial inclusion policy and regulation. AFI is a member-owned network of over 100 financial inclusion policy-making and regulatory institutions from 90 developing and emerging countries around the world, covering up to 85 percent of the world’s unbanked. AFI promotes and develops evidence-based policy solutions that help improve the lives of an estimated 1.7 billion unbanked, out of which almost 1 billion are women, who do not have access to formal financial services. AFI member institutions endorsed Denerau Action Plan in 2016 and committed to narrowing down the financial inclusion gender gap and promoting female leadership in their own jurisdictions.

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