About the event

The current COVID-19 pandemic is not only a global health crisis, but a social and economic crisis that has disproportionately affected women by exacerbating already existing and intersecting forms of inequality. The negative economic impact of lockdowns and the decreased demand for goods and services often produced or provided by women are posing a real threat to women’s employment, livelihoods, and economic empowerment.

On July 15, 2020, Devex and the CDC Group will convene a group of experts to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on women’s economic empowerment and livelihoods — as well as to explore some of the solutions that can help ensure their access to finance, job opportunities, and career growth. We’ll specifically explore the role that impact investors, financial institutions, responsible investors, and the private sector could play in sustainable job creation and why this must be at the forefront of the economic recovery post-pandemic.

Join the online conversation using #ResilientEconomies and #DevexEVENT.

For more content, visit the series site here.

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The Speakers


Adva Saldinger

Associate Editor
Adva Saldinger is an Associate Editor at Devex, where she covers the intersection of business and international development, as well as U.S. foreign aid policy. From partnerships to trade and social entrepreneurship to impact investing, Adva explores the role the private sector and private capital play in development. A journalist with more than 10 years of experience, she has worked at several newspapers in the U.S. and lived in both Ghana and South Africa.

Mary Ellen Iskenderian

President and CEO
Women's World Banking
Mary Ellen Iskenderian is President and CEO of Women’s World Banking, the global nonprofit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources they require to achieve security and prosperity. Ms. Iskenderian joined Women’s World Banking in 2006 and leads the Women’s World Banking global team, based in New York and also serves as a member of the Investment Committee of its $50 million impact investment fund. Prior to Women’s World Banking, Ms. Iskenderian worked for 17 years at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. Before, she worked for the investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Anu Madgavkar

Partner, Mumbai
McKinsey Global Institute
Anu Madgavkar is a partner with the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey’s business and economics research arm. Anu joined MGI in 2011 and leads teams based in India, working on global as well as India-focused research. Anu’s recent research has focused on global labor markets and skills; gender economics; migration; economic development and poverty alleviation, and applying technology to solving development challenges. She has coauthored several MGI reports, including Poorer than their parents, The power of parity; People on the move: Global migration's impact and opportunity; India’s path from poverty to empowerment, India's tech opportunity: transforming work, empowering people, and India's economic geography: states, cities and clusters.

Arpita Raksit

Gender Lead
CDC Group
Arpita Raksit is the Gender Lead at CDC Group, the UK’s Development Finance Institution. Having led the development of CDC's first Gender strategy, she is now responsible for driving the implementation of the strategy across CDC's investments. This work focuses on gender equality through women’s economic empowerment, one of CDC’s core thematic initiatives. She drove the development of the 2X criteria after the 2X Challenge was launched in June 2018 which seeks to invest and mobilise $3bn into gender smart investments by 2020 and is a member of the 2X Working Group. Arpita is also the Chair of the Gender Finance Collaborative, a group of 15 DFI’s who work together to advance the practice of gender smart investing. She holds a BA Hons in PPE from the University of Warwick, an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, and is IMC qualified.

Mamoun Tahri Joutei

Head of Economic Intelligence Centre
BMCE Bank of Africa
Mamoun Tahri Joutei is Director of the Economic Intelligence Centre at Bank of Africa – BMCE Group. He joined the Group in 2005 and led the establishment of BMCE’s Economic Intelligence Centre and the implementation of strategic decision-making support tools. Mr. Tahri-Joutei specialises in development economics and has initiated leading economic debates and industry discussions in Morocco and Africa. In 2016, he supported the launch of the Institute for Africa, an organisation collecting business data and analyses guiding investors in Africa. Since 2009, he has also led the launch of the Observatory for Entrepreneurship, a non-financial support programme bringing together an ecosystem of partners in Morocco, dedicated to the establishment of incubators, and the launch of training and mentoring cycles for SMEs. Mr. Mamoun Tahri Joutei holds a PhD in Economics from Aix-Marseille School of Economics.

Dr. Jale Samuwai

Climate Finance Advisor for the Pacific
Dr. Jale Samuwai is the Climate Finance Advisor for Oxfam in the Pacific, and is currently responsible for covering the 10 Pacific countries in which Oxfam have a program footprint. He holds a PhD in Climate Change from the University of the South Pacific (USP) and is the first graduate from USP to attain this qualification. His PhD thesis specifically looks at climate financing in the Pacific region. In addition, he has published 8 peer reviewed articles on sustainable development issues in the Pacific in ranked journals outlets and has also written 3 technical reports on climate change/finance related issues in the region.

Shivanal S. Kumar

Climate Change Adaptation Specialist
Ministry of Economy, Fiji
Shivanal Kumar is a climate change professional in the Fijian Government, focusing on national adaptation planning process. He works for the Climate Change and International Cooperation Division in the Ministry of Economy and possesses a unique background on marine biology and environmental laws. Previously, he has worked as an environmental manager at a resort, and has also spent some time in the higher education sector as a programme accreditation specialist. He is a graduate of the University of the South Pacific, and has acquired his leadership training from East West Center in Hawaii.

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