Workplace Role Models: The Impact of Role Models in Advancing the Professional Ambitions of Women in the DRC

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The representation of women working in the private sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), regardless of role and the sector, is important because it ensures that diverse perspectives are brought to the table, considered and integrated into business decisions which directly and indirectly impact the lives of millions of people in the DRC. It also influences social norms and shapes what younger generations (particularly adolescent girls) imagine to be possible. To explore the hypothesis that role models have a positive impact on the representation of women and specifically on the career aspirations of younger Congolese women, FCDO’s private sector development programs, Elan and Essor, conducted joint participatory research with young women in three sectors: renewable energy (private and public sector), finance (private sector), and agriculture (private sector).

Credit: Art work courtesy of Eddie Budiongo

JESSICA RUST-SMITH

Senior Consultant

I work across markets, business and supply chains, impact investing, agriculture, and women’s economic empowerment. I am an experienced monitoring, evaluation, research and learning consultant and project manager with expertise in the use of mixed methods, theory-based approaches and data collection and analysis. I have been working in M&E for market systems development for 10 years now, and going strong.