Section Notes

A Greater Role for Women

The critical role women play in the economic and social development of countries, local communities, and organizations is gaining growing recognition. At the IMF, we are confident that when our member countries make conscious efforts to enable and encourage women to participate in the workplace and enforce laws that support inclusion and economic empowerment for women, they have a better chance of thriving economically and fostering a more stable and secure future. Greater attention to gender equity and the gender implications of our work and policy advice will help us better serve our member countries and improve the quality of life for all.


Women in top positions in the IMF ( from bottom left, clockwise): Institute for Capacity Development Director Sharmini Coorey, Deputy Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer Carla Grasso, African Department Director Antoinette Sayeh, Executive Director Chileshe Kapwepwe, Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Information Technology Department Director and Chief Information Officer Susan Swart, Human Resources Department Director Kalpana Kochhar (effective June 13, 2016), and Office of Internal Audit and Inspection Director Clare Brady.

Including more women in all aspects of society and all levels of leadership holds the key to many important challenges that our member countries face, but, more importantly, when women are excluded, we lose access to at least half of the world’s talent pool. In an increasingly interconnected, complex, and fast-changing world, we need the best thinking and maximum contributions from everyone (read more on IMF research on gender inequality in the “Looking Ahead” section). In the IMF, collective intelligence is our strength and adding the voices and perspectives of talented women from all walks of life isn’t new. We’ve been consciously working toward a better gender balance inside our organization for more than a decade and we have made significant progress. We are proud of this progress but we know there is still more to do to ensure that women and men become equal partners to fulfill our mandate in service of our membership.