Mary Ellen Iskendarian: I had a fair amount of background in microfinance in my previous positions. I was running South Asia for the World Bank at the time of 9/11, and the first post-9/11 investment that we made was in a microfinance bank in Pakistan and really felt that that was an important signal, an important message. And so I was drawn to WWB because of microfinance.
But the lesson that I’ve learned, and what I really, I sort of regret having missed so many years of my life not knowing this, was just how absolutely central the role of women is to financial stability, to household stability. If kids are going to get to school and stay in school and have food to eat while they’re there and remain healthy while they’re there, it’s because the women are going to make that happen. And I had not made that connection before coming to Women’s World Banking.
Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd