Power with Purpose: How to foster female leadership in the development sector

By Julie Espinosa, Sophie Edwards 15 March 2017

Devex President Raj Kumar and McKinsey associate partner Tracy Nowski discuss how to foster female leadership in the nonprofit sector.

Despite efforts by organizations to prioritize women's leadership, the gender gap in the C-suite persists. Female leaders in business remain a minority.

The disparity at the top is also pronounced in the nonprofit sector, where women make up 75 percent of the workforce but hold the top position in less than half of their companies, according to a 2015 report from GuideStar.

Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar spoke with McKinsey & Company Associate Partner Tracy Nowski about how to foster the next generation of women leaders as part of McKinsey and Devex's Power with Purpose initiative, honoring female leaders in global development.

While formal policies such as parental leave and flexible work arrangements are undeniably important, giving women access to male and female mentors and role models within the organization is a crucial strategy in moving women up the leadership ladder, according to Nowski.

This article is for Devex Members
For full access to the content of the article sign in or join Devex.

About the authors

Espinosa julie
Julie Espinosa

Julie Espinosa is Devex's video producer, covering humanitarian aid, sustainable development and global health. Prior to joining Devex, Julie worked in documentary film production in Austin, Texas. She holds a master's degree in communications and cultural studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor's in visual arts from Harvard University.


Edwards sopie
Sophie Edwards

Sophie Edwards is a reporter for Devex based out of Washington D.C. and London where she covers global development news, careers and lifestyle issues. She has previously worked for NGOs, the World Bank and spent a number of years as a journalist for a regional newspaper in the U.K. She has an MA from the Institute of Development Studies and a BA from Cambridge University.


Join the Discussion