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M. Esther Dassanou

Marième Esther Dassanou
Esther Dassanou leads the IFC Gender Secretariat’s work on advancing women’s inclusion in the insurance and financial sectors. She directed a team composed of IFC staff and experts from AXA and Accenture in producing SheforShield: Insure Women to Better Protect All. This groundbreaking report articulated the business case for the insurance industry to include women as clients, employees, entrepreneurs and leaders. Since joining IFC, Esther has led the work on expanding women’s access to finance through the organization’s SME Banking program. This program now has an $820 million investment portfolio. She has also managed the partnership with the Global Banking Alliance for Women, a consortium of financial institutions dedicated to promoting the growth of women-owned enterprises. She is one of the lead authors of the reports, G20 – Access to Finance for Women MSMEs and Women-owned SMEs: A Business Opportunity for Financial Institutions.