The Center for Microfinance Leadership brings the best of leadership development and organizational diversity initiatives to the microfinance sector through workshops, coaching and support for organizational change. The Center helps CEOs and senior managers hone the skills needed to steer their institutions through this period of rapid change and commercialization. It also supports high-performing microfinance providers (MFPs) in improving the gender diversity of their leadership team and staff to optimize performance. The Center’s partners—The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Creative Metier Limited—are leaders in executive development and reinforce the excellence and best practice of the program offerings.
Women in Leadership Workshop
The Women in Leadership Workshop, co-designed with Wharton, is targeted at women in mid- and senior-level management at MFPs who seek to build their leadership skills and position themselves for top jobs in their organizations. Participants develop their own road map to leadership and leave with an individualized action plan, as well as peer support, to help them achieve their goals. In the three years since the program began, 80 women from 30 institutions in 21 countries have completed the program.
Advanced Leadership Workshop
The Advanced Leadership Workshop, also co-designed with Wharton, addresses the needs of microfinance executives as they prepare for new levels of responsibility in their careers and build the skills they need to succeed in a competitive, rapidly evolving industry. This advanced course is for men and women who have significant leadership experience and addresses themes such as building top management teams, advanced negotiation skill-building, effective governance, and succession planning.
WWB’s coaching program includes a three-day training program delivered by Creative Metier, access to a professional coach from the Creative Metier Team for six months, and a one-year personal license to Creative Metier’s online development software and workbooks. These interactive tools are designed to help leaders develop their personal and organizational visions and track their progress.
WWB has extensive experience in designing exchanges for our network members and other MFPs to share knowledge on a practitioner-to-practitioner basis. Exchanges are directly related to participants’ learning goals, exposing them to technical knowledge and innovation, as well as opportunities to meet with inspiring leaders in the field of microfinance and beyond.
Organizational Support for Gender Diversity
Select institutions have access to a suite of organizational development services that are designed to improve gender diversity in high-performing MFPs. The first phase of the offering is a diagnostic —Organizational Gender Assessment—designed to identify where barriers may exist that prevent men and women employees from having equal opportunities to excel. Following the diagnostic, the Center staff work with MFPs to design solutions that maximize employee satisfaction, professional development and gender diversity at all levels.
Management Development Training of Trainers
Building managerial skills in MFPs is critical for high performance. The capacity of strong leaders at the top must be reinforced with the managerial skills of those throughout the organization. The Center’s Management Development Training of Trainers is designed to help middle managers clarify roles and responsibilities, broaden their perspectives and improve strategic thinking through real-life exercises that build on their technical skills in finance, credit and human resource management.