People often ask why Women’s World Banking worked so well. The most important reason is that many voices, many business and banking traditions, and many cultures came together in true collaboration.
When we began there were no international networks as we know them today. The world was really still colonial. We did not ever follow that model. We created our own person-to-person networks and exchanged information to help each other.
The links were woman to woman without hierarchy. We knew from day one that each woman knew how her country’s business and banking worked; what we needed to learn was how to enter the formal financial system from a global perspective. We did not tell anyone what to make, sell or buy—each person was responsible for her own participation and to each other. We were not experts. We did not need experts. And no Queen Bees.
We were determined to build a global network country by country, not a centralized or top-down institution. We all benefited from the larger success of working together. We learned to trust each other because we all depended on each other.
NETWORKS – WOMEN – TRUST.
That’s why it worked!
Michaela Walsh, September 2012