9th Annual Birdsall House Conference on Gender Equality (29 nov, 2023)

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9:00—2:00 PM ET / 14:00—18:45 GMT


This conference promises to be a thought-provoking exploration of the challenges women face, the opportunities their representation has created for different policies and impacts, and their strategic insights for how to increase women’s leadership within international financial institutions (IFIs). 

The event will start with a presentation of new findings on women’s representation in the IFI workforce, and leadership roles in particular, using a unique dataset of staffing over the last two decades from seven major IFIs. The event features two substantive panels that will ignite a dialogue across different IFIs on  how to shift the landscape of women’s representation. The first panel, “The View from the Top: We Shattered the Glass Ceiling, What’s Next?” showcases women who have shattered the glass ceiling and the reflections and strategies they have that can pave the way  for others through mentorship and institutional reform. The second panel, “Climbing the Ladder: Progress and Hurdles for Mid-Career Women in IFIs,” brings together mid-career women to explore the impact of intersectionality on representation, and discuss what has supported their progress as well as the persistent pinch points that continue to challenge women's ascent to positions of leadership.

After these engaging panel discussions, we invite you to stay for a networking lunch where you can connect with panelists and fellow attendees. This conference represents a pivotal opportunity to advance the dialogue surrounding women's advancement and leadership within the world of IFIs at a moment when these institutions are critical in supporting countries facing numerous intersecting crises and setbacks to hard fought gender equality gains.


Panel I: The View from the Top: We Shattered the Glass Ceiling, What’s Next?

This panel features a group of influential women leaders in IFIs who will delve into the most pressing issues confronting women, including the critical need to address diversity gaps in political appointments. The discussion will emphasize the essential actions required of nations and IFIs to align with their diversity commitments. Attendees will gain insight into innovative strategies for driving systemic change, the pivotal mentorship roles that women leaders play, and the transformative impact that HR and operational policies can have on shaping organizational culture and promoting the advancement of women.

Panel II: Climbing the Ladder: Progress and Hurdles for Mid-Career Women in IFIs

This panel brings together a group of mid-level career women from international financial institutes to dissect the landscape of intersectionality within gender representation. They will discuss what was impactful in their career progression, as well as the challenges they see for further advancement and for women entering the field. By delving into the impact of intersectionality on women's leadership within IFIs, we aim to explore the complexities preventing their advancement and identify where inequities persist in institutional targets, investments, and mentorship.

The panelists will share their personal experiences, shedding light on how the growth in leadership diversity has influenced their career opportunities and trajectories. They will also discuss the unique gender issues faced by women at the mid-level versus the executive level, offering valuable insights for both career aspirants and established leaders.


View the event's full agenda here.

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