Women in business: international organizations' efforts. The IFC

As a part of the series "Women in business: international organizations efforts", profiling the various efforts international organizations undertake to assist women in reaching their full potential at the workplace, the spotlight today is on the IFC and its Women in Business Program.

The IFC focuses on the business case for gender diversity in business, maintaining that women in the private sector represent a powerful source of economic growth and opportunity, and that by strengthening women's roles as leaders, entrepreneurs, employees, consumers, and economic stakeholders, our otherwise struggling economy can be transformed.  The IFC offers a number of advisory services and toolkits in order to create business opportunities for IFC clients in improving working conditions for female employees.

Looking into the regional level, IFC’s Women on Boards initiative, under the Corporate Governance program, aims at promoting more women as board members. The argument, as it goes, is that companies with more women on their board, fare better as opposed to competitors who sport men-only boards. The argument is not without some backing by research, such as a study by Credit Suisse, which compared the share performance of companies with market capitalization of more than $10 billion over the past six years, and established that those with female board members outperformed their counterparts with all-male boards by 26 percent.
The IFC has been actively pushing for increasing women participation in boardrooms and plans to double the percentage of female directors on its own 98-member board to 30 percent by 2015.

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Tags: boards, business, diversity, economy, gender, women

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