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NEW CASE STUDY: Investor’s Journey In Gender Lens Investing: Ascend Vietnam Ventures (AVV) Download

Gender & Business Expert / Portfolio Lead (Africa-based)

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Join our team in building practical pathways for inclusion through innovation in business and investment across the globe
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Value for Women is a global social enterprise that is growing in leaps and bounds. These exciting times call for new talent in the expansion of our team of multidisciplinary, critical thinkers who appreciate and thrive in a diverse, global and constantly changing work environment, and who are committed to lending their talent and skills to an organisation that keeps on growing and evolving.

Our organisation sits at the cutting edge of gender inclusion - and its practical application  in the context of inclusive business and investment practice. Joining our team will put you at the forefront of generating new ideas and practices related to gender and inclusion that drive new ways of doing business and investment. As a Gender & Business Expert / Portfolio Lead at VFW, you will work with the best group of talent in the industry, and learn from the pros! The role offers an opportunity to learn-while-doing, while you apply your strong skills to working on multiple projects with a diverse set of stakeholders and team members from across the globe. You will be able to work from home flexibly. All team members at VFW manage their own time across time zones and are all results driven. This is often optimal for parents and for working toward work-life balance.

Since forming in 2012, we have grown from a team of 3 to a team of over 25 consultants that work with us, based in their home countries across the globe. We are particularly proud of the multitude of projects we engage in with our long term partners and clients- in impact investing, sustainable energy, sustainable agriculture, financial inclusion, gender lens investing, inclusive entrepreneurship and other areas; by way of offering training, advisory, research, evaluation and technical assistance. We devise public-facing tools and products that help investors improve their focus on gender; that help businesses go from intention to action on gender and social inclusion, while taking geographical context into account. While all of this sounds big and difficult to manage, the team works across multiple time zones, borders and geographies to collaborate on teams and on projects that deliver not only to the highest quality standards, but also that contribute to moving the broader market forward on gender and social inclusion. In sum, our team is golden; our secret weapon, and our proudest resource. Joining this team will offer the chance for your collaborative, innovative and team-building skills to shine.

Diversity & Inclusion

We value having a diverse mix of talented problem- solvers at our organisation. We encourage applications from candidates that are from and live in the countries we work in (primarily Africa, Asia, Latin America) as well as individuals identifying as Black, Afro-descendant, Indigenous and/or as People of Color. However, we do not ask applicants to disclose this. At VFW we believe that our entire team is key to helping us achieve our mission and vision. We aim for the composition of our team to reflect the diverse nature of both the work we carry out, and the world we live in and are striving to change. At present, we are a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of backgrounds including gender, race, ethnicity, geography, cultures and beliefs, as well as experience and education’ and our hiring practices aim to deepen that. Application success is based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship or disability.

What does a Gender & Business Expert / Portfolio Lead do at Value for Women?

The Gender & Business Expert / Portfolio Lead will focus on implementing multiple consulting projects, assignments and learning initiatives, with special emphasis on initiatives. The ideal person will be an expert problem solver who is quick to adapt and be flexible to changing realities. They will be a solid communicator, an innovative thinker and have people and client relationship management skills. They will be able to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders; including groups of investors and asset holders, CEOs of small and growing businesses, and their respective consumers/beneficiaries. Our team works best with people who interact positively, who are results-based, entrepreneurial and client-centred.

Where does this role fit into the organisation?

The Gender & Business Expert / Portfolio Lead reports to the Senior Engagement Manager and/or the Associate Director, they collaborate with and liaise with Advisors and the VFW Senior Management Team on project delivery, client relationships and consultant performance. They manage a team of consultants per project, lead and support with significant oversight, on all aspects of project delivery and client relationship management.

How much does this role pay?

VFW hires self-employed individuals exclusively, and remuneration is based on a daily rate, to be determined based on factors such as 1) Previous experience 2) Location and global market rates. VFW strives to pay competitive rates that account for cost of living, which differs across countries and regions. 


More about the Gender & Business Expert / Portfolio Lead responsibilities

The Expert / Portfolio Lead will support the work of the organisation and our partners to ultimately:

  • Understand and tackle barriers women face in business and entrepreneurship

  • Reach more women and women-led businesses with financial and non-financial products or services

  • Implement and participate in the design of gender lens investment strategies, plans and approaches

  • Mainstream gender across business strategy, decision-making, operations and value chains

  • Identify ways to achieve greater women’s participation within employment, among enterprise staff and leadership

More specifically, the Expert / Portfolio Lead will drive and lead the design, implementation and evaluation of Gender Strategies with businesses, financial institutions, intermediaries and investors, namely the development of strategies, plans and roadmaps for reaching business and gender goals.

The Expert / Portfolio Lead will drive and lead thedesign of training, capacity building and implementation tools for corporations, SMEs, investors, financial institutions, and entrepreneurship ecosystem actors. This includes designing and delivering technical assistance to SMEs, financial and non-financial organisations supporting entrepreneurship and inclusion of women in products and services. It includes the design and implementation of tools and toolkits to support gender inclusion and enhance the impact of business services on women.

The Expert / Portfolio Lead will drive research activities, and guide the carrying out of gender diagnostics, market studies, the design of research framework and tools, the implementation of data collection and report writing as well as support in the production of communication collateral to share learnings in our relevant sectors.

The Expert / Portfolio Lead will participate in consulting project coordination and relationship building internally and externally for project planning and systems management, presentations of project results as needed and at times attend local and global events, meetings and networking activities, as agreed (public health and safety conditions permitting, of course).

Key deliverables will be defined in project work plans, based on the roles described above and in tandem with portfolio leads and directors.

Specific responsibilities will also include:

  • Manage partnerships with key clients and partners

  • Oversee, drive and directly implement specialised advisory projects; manage projects and teams

  • Support the development of long-term strategy toward the expansion of VFW models, services and products

  • Developing proposals for a wide range of clients and partner organisations

  • Represent VFW and ensure visibility in industry spaces (networks, conferences, etc focused on gender lens investing, impact investing, MSME entrepreneurship)

  • Support the develop powerful materials to effectively communicate our work to a broad audience of partners and collaborators

  • Manage a portfolio of advisory service and research projects with a range of partners such as enterprises, financial institutions, banks, entrepreneurship intermediaries, and development finance institutions

  • Supervise the work of consultants and consulting teams

  • Support and coach more junior consultants to ensure quality delivery of advisory services

What are the requirements for this role?

The ideal candidate is an expert problem solver who is quick to adapt to changing realities, is client-oriented, works efficiently against client and deliverable deadlines, and is focused on quality and timeliness. They are a solid written and spoken communicator in English, an innovative thinker and can work effectively with diverse stakeholders; including groups of investors and asset holders, business leaders and entrepreneurs, and beneficiary populations. Our team works best with people who interact positively, who are results-based, entrepreneurial and client-centred.

Additionally, we require the following background and experience:

  • Be based in Africa, preferably Sub-Saharan Africa, with a lived-in experience of working in African markets. 

  • A minimum of 7 years of professional experience, 5 of which ideally should be in a field related to advisory services or consulting, international or economic development, impact investing, entrepreneurship, work with SMEs or in  finance  

  • Excellent communications skills including effective English writing skills,  people skills and relationship management

  • Demonstrated depth of knowledge and practical expertise in gender, women’s economic empowerment, women’s entrepreneurship, SME ecosystems, markets, value chain, agriculture, sustainable energy and/or international development

  • High competency in multiple advisory services skills such as developing content, delivering presentations, developing/delivering training for clients or partners, or leading on data analysis, or project management

  • Ability to develop and lead research / studies on applying a gender lens in priority areas such as financial inclusion, entrepreneurship and SME development, impact investing, agriculture and/or clean energy

  • Demonstrated expertise in the design and implementation of business development strategy and generating partnerships

  • Management experience (people management, project, client relationships)

  • Higher level education in Business Administration, International Development, Finance, Public Policy or related fields is desired

  • 5+ years experience executing, managing, and/or coordinating advisory service projects, particularly for businesses, investors, and/or development finance institutions

  • Experience delivering  and facilitating workshops or trainings, remote and in-person

  • Gender knowledge and skills, preferably applied to the context of business, banking or investment; or knowledge and practical experience in gender and economic development. 

We also seek these attributes:

  • Experience working in the energy, agriculture and/or financial services sectors, specifically providing consulting services to businesses, investment funds, accelerators/incubators, and/or development finance institutions (DFIs) in these industries is an asset 

  • Extensive research and writing experience is an asset

  • International experience- working in your own region, and across borders 

  • Ability to stay organised and motivated, working as part of a remote international team, working independently while focusing on results and collaboration

  • Client-centric orientation and understanding of how to manage diverse client relationships in a consulting setting 

  • Able to produce work independently, that can stand on its own 

  • Problem solving and entrepreneurial acumen

  • Uphold the principles of trust, equality of opportunities, transparency and collaboration 

  • Positive attitude and optimism about the role of small and growing businesses in generating positive social impact

  • The ability to thrive in a matrix-based organisational structure; operating internationally as a distributed team across the globe

  • Demonstrated alignment with Value for Women’s mission, vision and ways of working

  • Learning, adapting, and demonstrating their excitement for contributing to the growth of a small and growing business with a social mission

  • Project and team management skills 

Application process- our internal steps

Step 1: Submit your online application by April 4th, 2023. You will be required to upload your CV and Cover Letter. If you encounter any problem when filling out your online application, please contact us at

Step 2: Shortlist. Our recruiting team reaches out if your profile is a match, if you don't hear from us within 2 months after the submission deadline, please consider your application unsuccessful.

Step 3: Interview #1. We invite you to participate in a written interview. You are asked to upload your responses or send them back to us within 2-3 days. You can always ask for more time if you have other existing commitments already scheduled.

Step 4: Interview #2. Candidates then move to the short -shortlist, and are asked for a 45 minute video call interview. This is a chance for you to ask us questions too.

Step 5: Final Interview! This is the really short- shortlist, and you are a finalist.

While we do our best to make this 5-step process quick, it can take up to 2.5 months to get to Step 5, depending on how many amazing applicants we receive. We appreciate your interest and patience. You can always reach out to ask about the status of your application at While we do our best to offer feedback to unsuccessful candidates, this is not always possible due to the volume of applications we receive.

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