Women’s World Banking

2023 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 multi-week global blended learning program, taught by Women’s World Banking and Faculty from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, brings together senior officials (male/female/nonbinary) from central banks and other regulatory agencies and high-potential women from their respective institutions. Each participating team (senior official + high potential leader) identifies a real-time institutional policy challenge related to women’s financial inclusion to work on throughout the learning journey.

Beginning the last week of April 2023, participants come together for interactive online classes, team assignments, 1:1 advisory sessions and peer learning.  Participants will also connect with peers from across the globe during a week of intensive in-person learning at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School the week of 24 July 2023.

We will soon be taking applications.

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What it is:

This multi-week blended learning program equips senior officials and high-potential leaders 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 gender diverse 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 with intensive in-person learning the week of 24 July 2023 at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

Each senior official identifies a policy action to advance women’s financial inclusion, and selects a high-potential woman leader from their institution who partners with them in designing and implementing their policy. Participants will use Women’s World Banking’s Women-Centered Policy Design Framework and complementary skills taught in the program to design, plan, implement and measure the impact of a policy action to close the gender gap in their market. Senior officials also commit to supporting their high-potential woman leader program partner’s professional development during and after the program through career mentorship and sponsorship.  Senior officials will receive 4 executive coaching sessions.

The program culminates with live or in-person capstone presentations highlighting the policy actions, progress and plans for making a difference in the lives of low-income women of each participating team.

In-person location:
Oxford Said Business School
Executive Education Campus
Oxford, England

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 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 leadership, persuasion, 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. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates join our alumni network, gaining access to a wealth of experience, expertise and opportunities for further learning and support.

Fee per institution/pair: USD 8,000 

The program fee includes (for two participants per institution); tuition and course materials, executive coaching (senior regulators), and engagement in all peer activities, expert advisory and accommodation and meals when in-person at Oxford, England. Participants must cover all travel to Oxford, England, and incidental expenses, such as flights, ground transportation, visas, insurance, additional meals, etc.

Limited 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
  • Travel to Oxford, England the week of 24 July

*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 should not complete 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 are committed to promoting gender-inclusive policy environments and workplaces.

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 four months, from the last week in April 2023 to August 2023. Following completion of the core curriculum, participants will work independently to prepare and present their final capstone in September 2023.

Senior officials and high-potential women leaders – must be available to travel to Oxford, England for the week of 28 July and join on average two live virtual sessions per month outside of the week in person. Participants will dedicate approximately 3-5 hours per month, comprising pre-session work, post-session work, along with ongoing engagement in peer-group consultation sessions and 1:1 advisory with policy and financial inclusion experts.

  • Coaching sessions (Senior officials): 4 sessions of 1 hour each (4 hours)
  • Advisory and peer-to-peer consultations: approximately 4 hours
  • Capstone presentations: Prepare and deliver a 15-minute capstone presentation, listen and provide feedback to peer presentations

Following the completion of the program, each pair will share progress on their gender-inclusive policy during a live or virtual peer-to-peer consultation and will present on their policy action and submit a written capstone summary. Participants are also required to report back to Women’s World Banking at the 6 and 12 month 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 institutional financial inclusion policy project.

What is the policy action?

The Leadership and Diversity Program for Regulators offers you the opportunity to bring a real gender-inclusive policy you are working on into the program. You will work on your policy throughout the duration of the program, with support from experts at Women’s World Banking and Oxford.

Policy actions can be a new policy that is being implemented or existing policy that is being enhanced and may fit into one or more of the following categories:

  • Legislation or Regulation
  • Initiative/Program
  • Strategy
  • Guidelines or Policy Note

A good fit for the policy action 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 actions may focus on:

  • Expanding access to and usage of 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.)
  • Promoting women’s access to and usage of appropriate insurance products

What is the capstone?

The capstone presentation is a report back to peers and faculty on steps taken towards moving the identified women-centered financial inclusion policy action forward. Participants will have a period of one to two (1-2) months following the in-person workshop at Oxford to prepare their capstone presentation and written submission. The capstone provides an opportunity to showcase any tangible steps taken and receive feedback from peers and experts.

What does the program fee cover?

The program fee includes (for two participants per institution); tuition and course materials, accommodation and meals in Oxford, executive coaching (senior regulators), and engagement in all peer activities and expert advisory. Participants must cover all travel to Oxford, England and incidental expenses, such as flights, ground transportation, visas, insurance, additional meals, etc.

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?

230 regulators/policymakers from 58 institutions in 42 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
  • Financial Services Authority, Indonesia
  • National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) Mexico
  • Banco de México
  • National Insurance Commission Ghana
  • Reserve Bank of India
  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India
  • National Bank of Cambodia
  • Insurance Regulator of Cambodia

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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