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Work for the EBRD and help forge economic equality for women

Work for the EBRD and help forge economic equality for women

 November 22, 2018

What a year 2018 was for the EBRD!

Talented women at the bank have been working on a wide range of policies and projects directly impacting women in clearly beneficial ways.

Through its activity, the Bank has been helping to foster women's equality across countries and has created numerous economic opportunities for women via their focus on gender and economic inclusion.

In 2018, the Bank signed a total of 41 investments with inclusion and gender components - representing a total investment volume of €1.3 billion. This brings the total of inclusion and gender projects to 140, with an investment volume of EUR 5.5 billion. The EBRD has utilised its impressive range of private sector projects to support its extensive policy engagements. Through this work the Bank has contributed to reforming the economic, legal and political barriers faced by women. 

But these are just some of the highlights! Read on below to learn how women at the EBRD are driving equal opportunity for women around the world. If you feel inspired why not take a look at the latest career vacancies at the EBRD and apply for a job where you can truly make an impact and follow your interests.

Investing in economies to drive economic opportunity for women

The EBRD has been working with its clients to advance inclusive policy reforms that directly benefit women's equality of opportunity and create sustainable and inclusive growth in the regions that need it the most. Many of these initiatives are led by the EBRD's own talented and inspiring women.

"An inclusive market economy ensures that anyone regardless of their gender, place of birth, family background, age or other circumstances, over which they have no control, has full and fair access to labour markets, finance and entrepreneurship and, more generally, economic opportunity. Inclusion is thus an intrinsic element of a sustainable market economy," says the EBRD.

According to Nandita Parshad, Managing Director of the EBRD's new Sustainable Infrastructure group, this "close integration of investment and support for reform ... is at the heart of the EBRD’s mandate."

Improving women's access to employment

EBRD women - gender strategy

Improving women’s access to employment is one of the key objectives of the EBRD’s Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality. Legal barriers to women’s entry to a variety of occupations are among the many factors contributing to women’s low rates of labour force participation across the EBRD’s countries of operation.

The EBRD knows that women's entrepreneurship plays a major role in the creation of jobs and in helping to drive strong economic growth. The EBRD believes that creating equal opportunities for women in business is not only a question of gender equality, but also a driving force for economic growth. The Bank places emphasis on unlocking the potential of women entrepreneurs and business owners, creating an environment in which they can succeed and become actively engaged in business.

For example, in Tajikistan and Eastern Partnership countries, the EBRD is supporting policy makers in identifying and understanding the needs of women entrepreneurs and promoting investment climate reforms that work to address the barriers faced.

ebrd Barbara Rambousek - diversity

"Formulating policy priorities is important, but to be effective these recommendations need to be translated into action by authorities in partnership with industry and civil society," says Barbara Rambousek, the EBRD's Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion. "This is where the EBRD comes in. As a catalyst for the engagement of the private sector with policy makers, the Bank is well-placed to help shape reforms across key gender policy areas."

"After all, by now surely everyone agrees - and can see - that gender equality really is a major priority for governments and international business," notes Barbara.

EBRD supports women in business in Morocco

EBRD Morocco

The EBRD's Women in Business Programme is strengthening the Moroccan economy by unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs. The Bank's impressive programme is supported by EU funds and provides advisory services and guarantees for partner institutions who lend directly to women.

Since the launch of the programme in 2014, the initiative has reached some 35,000 women, providing financing of over €450 million in cooperation with more than 30 financial institutions in some 17 countries. In addition, the programme has improved access to know-how, skills development training and business networks for women across the EBRD’s countries of operation.

The programme specifically helps micro, small and medium-sized businesses in Europe's southern and eastern Mediterranean region to become more competitive and access vital resources – driving sustainable economic growth.

EBRD creates new economic opportunities for women in Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan, the EBRD works on policy dialogue to address legal and regulatory bottlenecks for women’s full participation in the economy. Major policy dialogue achievements in 2018 achievement included a Legislative Order signed by Ms Madina Abylkassymova, the Minister for Labour and Social Protection for Republic of Kazakhstan which reduced the number of jobs which cannot be performed by women by 25%. This achievement removed more than 75 roles from the list - opening up new careers and economic opportunities for women.

EBRD supports female entrepreneurs in Jordan

In Jordan, the EBRD enhanced access to justice for female entrepreneurs through a ground-breaking capacity building programme for male and female judges combined with capacity building for female entrepreneurs.

In addition, the EBRD's equal opportunities and skills development programmes are linking private sector employers to education authorities in order to enhance access to STEM and vocational training for young women in manufacturing, property, tourism and other sectors. The EBRD has taken these connections one step further to successfully launch the first Hospitality and Tourism Skills Council which aims to understand the skills needed in the industry, design relevant and useful skills standards, and plan curricula and trainings programmes. As a private sector led platform, the key goal of the Council is to enable both employers and students to inform training provisions and identify the skills required by the Labour market.

EBRD supports the provision of training in Kyrgyzstan

The EBRD’s collaboration with Osh Auto Transport Enterprise (OGMAP) has benefited not only the women working for the company but also the Kyrgyz Republic’s city of Osh as a whole. In addition to the development of an Equal Opportunities Action Plan and a Non-Discrimination Policy, the EBRD helped the company to address gender issues and its low number of female drivers. As a result of this successful collaboration an additional 13 women were trained and 5 were recruited as bus drivers. Aisuluu Kushtarbekova, the manager of the project, won “Champion of Gender Equality” at the EBRD’s gender equality awards for her tireless efforts in implementing these impactful changes.

EBRD women - gender strategy

EBRD helps advance women's opportunities in Turkey

In 2018, the EBRD’s variety of projects continued to achieve great impact in Turkey. For example, the Bank’s client Olam trained 1,500 hazelnut farmers, including many women, in the eastern and western black-sea regions of Turkey and was certified under the “Good Agricultural Practices Programme”.

Building on the EBRD’s existing inclusion policy and project engagements in Turkey, the Ministry of Development invited the EBRD to contribute to working groups supporting the national development strategy of Turkey. In 2018, the Bank signed a loan with Migros, which is supporting the Bank’s inclusive policy dialogue by demonstrating the success of its Retail Academy and sharing lessons learnt through the experience. The Academy will support company operations by training at least 2,000 young people and was accredited by the Turkish Vocational Qualification Authority.

The EBRD is driving gender inclusion and closing gender gaps along with the Trakya electricity distribution company (TREDAS) and the Trakya electricity retail company (TREPAS). There are many highlights of the new initiatives undertaken by these companies, including a sophisticated recruitment communications initiative to showcase women in energy, an ongoing mentoring programme for women staff, dedicated outreach to girl students at Technical Schools which strengthens the pipeline of women talent and commitment to identify and remove gender wage gaps.

In October 2018 more than 800 staff were trained across 3 sites on preventing Gender Based Violence. The excellent progress has been recognised at the highest levels with the Equal Opportunities work at TREDAS and TREPAS featuring in more than 600 local and national news articles. In 2018 Ilksen Cetintas, the HR Director of TREDAS, was selected as winner of the “Business World Awards” category at a ceremony hosted by Emine Erdogan, wife of the President of Turkish Republic, together with the Minister of Energy. The award recognised ongoing and extensive efforts in strengthening gender equality both in the company and in society. 

Gender equality is a major priority

EBRD women - gender strategy

The EBRD’s Managing Director, Charlotte Ruhe, supports both female entrepreneurs and small businesses. In her other role as director for EBRD's Small Business Support team, she brings considerable knowledge supporting small and medium-sized enterprises across 25 countries. As part of the role, Charlotte led the integration of the Bank’s donor-funded business advice programmes into a key pillar of the EBRD’s offer for small businesses. Under Charlotte's leadership, the programmes were expanded into many countries including Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan.

For Charlotte, diversity in entrepreneurship and beyond means much more than our visible characteristics such as nationality, gender or race. "It also relates to less visible traits such as sexual orientation, leadership style, personality, unseen disability and defining life experience," explains Charlotte. "We get the best out of diversity at the EBRD by understanding, embracing and practicing inclusion."

The EBRD aims to create a shared agenda for gender across the Bank, integrating gender into its strategy and operations, building the capacity of its staff and clients, introducing incentives such as Internal Gender Reporting, and actively engaging with international and national partners to enhance impact, knowledge and cooperation.

Join the EBRD and help keep gender on the agenda

Join the talented women at the EBRD who are leading and working on exciting projects across many countries - projects that truly make a difference to the lives of women.

Research the EBRD's latest job vacancies and see where your skills and experience might take your career.

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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