International Women’s Day 2019: “Better the balance, better the world”

By David Hartingh, President and CEO

IESC’s Home Office team bettering the balance.

Today, March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day. As the President and CEO of IESC, I embrace the opportunity to support women, both in the home office and in our field offices, and through IESC’s global portfolio of programs, in pursuit of a more gender-balanced world.

In our home and field offices, working towards a gender-balanced world means creating a work culture that supports and empowers women, providing equal opportunities for professional development, and ensuring equal representation in leadership roles. In our programs, achieving a gender-balanced world means identifying the specific constraints faced by women and girls and men and boys, acknowledging where and why gender gaps exist, and designing development interventions that are tailored to address these unique constraints.

IESC has worked hard in the past few years to ensure a culture of equity and inclusion. We have officially endorsed the Minimum Standards for Mainstreaming Gender Equality, joining a dedicated group of international development and humanitarian response organizations that recognize, adopt, and adhere to a minimum level of gender equality mainstreaming in our programs and within our organizations.

I am pleased to share a number of women-focused success stories that we have posted throughout the week, highlighting the important work IESC is doing to better the balance and better the world: Increasing women’s access

— Increasing women’s access to credit and markets in Mali

— Supporting women entrepreneurs in Ella, Sri Lanka to start and expand their businesses in the tourism industry, increasing incomes and creating jobs

— Conducting training on credit readiness, record keeping, and sound agricultural practices for the Zinduka Women’s Group in Mbeya, Tanzania

— Helping women-owned businesses like Xocolat in the Dominican Republic to expand into new markets

— Supporting the launch of Top Gem Lapidary, a women-led enterprise in the Central Province of Sri Lanka

— Connecting women-owned enterprises with business development service providers to increase production and sales in Tanzania

Our programs teams around the world also support #BalanceforBetter. Check out some of their team photos here:

— USAID Feed the Future Enabling Growth through Investment & Enterprise Program in Tanzania

USAID Linkages for Small and Medium Enterprises (LinkSME) activity in Vietnam

— USDA Foreign Agriculture Service Programa Exporta Calidad (Exporting Quality Program) in the Dominican Republic

— USAID Workforce and Higher Access to Markets (WHAM) Activity in Bosnia Herzegovina

— USAID and Sida-funded Finance for Food Security and Women Entrepreneurs program in Mali

Creating a gender-balanced world is essential for businesses, communities, and economies to thrive. I encourage you all to continue working to better the balance well beyond International Women’s Day. #BalanceforBetter #IWD2019