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Women’s Economic Empowerment – Clara Arthur (UNCDF)

For the month of March, in honor of International Women’s Day, the Cambridge SupTech Lab will be featuring inspiring leaders of women in finance and financial supervision. We asked them questions about financial inclusion as well as about career advice and mentorship. Our next leader is Clara Arthur, Policy and Ecosystem Specialist, United Nations Capital Development Fund Ghana (UNCDF).

Q: How do advancements in suptech create more opportunities for women to receive fair treatment, equitable and non-discriminatory access to the financial system? 

 A: Advancements in suptech will indeed create more opportunities for women if regulators who are in the process of closing the sex gap in financial inclusion deploy Online Regulatory Analytics and Surveillance Systems that enhance the compilation of sex disaggregated financial data from financial service providers for policy formulation and decision making. 

Q: What is the role of financial authorities, and in particular financial supervisors, to further advance financial inclusion, non-discrimination and equal opportunities of women in global economies?

A: Financial supervisors can be intentional about achieving this feat by ensuring the regulatory environment is conducive for all to thrive. For example, financial supervisors can create universal access and usage of financial services for all.

Q: Why is it important to drive women’s equal representation and inclusion at all levels of the global financial system?

A: In Africa there is an adage that goes ‘ when you educate a woman you educate a nation.’ Equal representation of women at all levels of the global financial system is key – the only way women’s economic empowerment can be guaranteed is when we have women at the top making decisions; that will be implemented by the middle level management to have the trigger effect.

Q: Who was your career role model, and why?

A: I get this question all the time and to be honest I am my own role model. I started out as a lawyer and in 2003 I walked by technicians fixing an ATM and my journey into working in financial technology started. Today I look back and I have inspired other women who lead within this space.

Q: Is there a female leader currently working in financial supervision or central banking to create greater gender equity that you admire?

A: Clarissa Kudowor who recently retired as Assistant Director at the Payment Systems Department of Bank of Ghana.

Q: How can women in central banking and financial supervision identify opportunities to be mentored, and to mentor someone else? 

A: Central Bank systems tend to be rigid but I will encourage women to explore opportunities to mentor within the bank and within their networks.

Q: What career advice were you given that you will never forget?

A: My dad always said “create your own opportunities” and that’s my mantra.

Q: What inspires you about working towards greater gender equity and financial inclusion through your role in financial supervision and central banking?

A: For me, it’s the impact my work has achieved in Ghana; I have been involved in policy documents and championed women’s economic empowerment causes and recently my work to navigate the Fintech and Innovation office of the Bank of Ghana to compel financial service providers to collect and report sex disaggregated data in one breath and championing this during past International Women’s Days keeps me moving forward (I SUPPORT the work of central banks).

Read more more about women’s economic empowerment, females in financial supervision, and national-international women’s day!

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Authors
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Cambridge SupTech Lab

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Jose Miguel Mestanza Hirakata

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Juliet Ongwae

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Kalliopi Letsiou

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Matt Grasser

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Matt Grasser and Kalliopi Letsiou

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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Simone di Castri

Cambridge SupTech Lab

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