Syncing across the South:
How can we Adapt or Create innovations in Gender-Smart investing across the Global South?



Location: Cambria



Moderator: Shalaka Joshi, IFC

Conversation Starters:

Stephanie Oueda Cruz, IDB Invest

Amy Haddad, DFAT

Tokunboh Ishmael, AVCA and Alitheia Capital

Session Description:

Join our conversation, kick-started by leaders working on and in the global south to delve deeper into questions such as: How does transferring business and financing models across geographies and contexts work? How can we shift existing ideas around replication and adaptation to allow for more innovation and creativity in localised solutions? What is the role of intersectionality — of race, class, caste with gender — and how best can we factor that into the investing models that will increase capital to varied women-led and women-impact businesses?


Shalaka Joshi

Shalaka Joshi

Stephanie Oueda Cruz

Stephanie Oueda Cruz

Amy Haddad

Amy Haddad

Tokunboh Ishmael

Tokunboh Ishmael

Shalaka Joshi is the Gender Lead, South Asia for the International Finance Corporation (IFC)- the private sector focused arm of the World Bank- where she works on gender in the private sector. Shalaka has 15 years of global leadership experience in early-stage investing, social venture, financial inclusion, livelihoods and market-based solutions to poverty in emerging markets, especially in Asia. Her social enterprise work includes ...

...UNICEF and Ashoka, and her private sector experience includes ICICI Bank - India’s largest private sector bank. Shalaka’s investment experience includes being part of the early team at the IFMR Trust and serving as a Managing Director of Unitus Impact (now Patamar Capital)- an early-stage fund which supports the growth of scalable livelihood ventures in Asia. Shalaka also served as Managing Director, Asia-Pacific for Toniic- the world’s most active network of portfolio impact investors, supporting ventures and funds across 28 countries. She led Toniic’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific region and as its Chief Investment Officer globally, across asset classes. A Chevening scholar and an Aspen Global Leadership fellow, Shalaka serves on the Boards of Toniic Global, the IEF Entrepreneurship Foundation and UnLtd, India. She is based out of Mumbai, India and enjoys poetry, travel and dance.

Stephanie Oueda Cruz is the Head of Gender and Diversity at IDB Invest, the private sector branch of the Inter-American Development Bank, based in Washington D.C. At IDB Invest, our aim is to improve lives. As Head of Gender and Diversity, Stephanie’s role is to ensure that all operations, when relevant, have a positive impact... lead to more gender balance society. Mainly focus on women empowerment but as well men in the Caribbean. Under Stephanie’s leadership, this area of the Bank is now looking at foster programs to include other under-represented groups and increase other dimensions of diversity in order to work towards a more inclusive society. For example, the inclusion of Afro-descents, LGBT, Indigenous people and people with disabilities. Before joining IDB Invest, Stephanie was the Associate Director for Diversity& inclusion in Coca-Cola European Partners based in London. She led the D&I strategy and policy deployment across CCEP territories. Prior to CCEP, Stephanie was Head of International Diversity at L’Oréal based in Paris. There she launched and piloted the D&I policy among all subsidiaries of the Group in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Stephanie also worked the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City and Montreal, Canada. She is part of Vital Voices Young Leaders Council and is member of the board of different charities in Canada, France and the UK and is associate lecturer at Sorbonne University. Fluent in 5 languages, she holds a MA in Economics and in Political Science from Université de Montréal and Sorbonne University.

Amy Haddad is the Principal Gender Equality Specialist and head of the Gender Equality Branch within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia. Amy has worked towards gender equality for over twenty years, including as a youth advocate, as a political advisor and in the community sector. In 2006, Amy was first graduate trainee to ...

...commence part-time at the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), combining the training program with caring for her two children. As the gender focal point within the Office of Development Effectiveness, she produced the flagship evaluation on Violence Against Women in Melanesia and Timor Leste (2008) and developed aid performance frameworks to track effectiveness of efforts to address gender equality in Australia’s aid program. Over 2010 – 2013 Amy worked on women and girls in education, as head of Australia’s development scholarship program and then head of AusAID’s education team. In 2014, Amy was posted to New York, as the development Counsellor in the Australian Mission to the United Nations. She served as Vice President on the UN Women Executive Board, and was Australia’s lead negotiator on gender, including on the SDG’s, returning to Australia in 2017. Amy has degrees in International Politics and Law.

Tokunboh Ishmael is the co-founder and managing director of Alitheia Capital. She has over 20 years experience spanning investment banking, private equity investing, technology and new business development in the USA, Europe and Africa. She has advised on mergers and acquisition mandates valuing over $5 billion across...

...the financial, health, oil, gas, technology and media sectors. Her previous roles include country partner for Nigeria at Aureos Capital, Fund manager of a technology focused venture capital fund, Sussex Place Ventures, M&A banker at Salomon Smith Barney and managing director of Avante Capital. ‘Tokunboh is an alumnus of London Business School, University of London. She is a CFA Charter holder, a member of the CFA Institute, a Yale University World Fellow, Chairman of the African Venture Capital Association, and a pioneer panelist on the TV show, Dragons' Den Nigeria. ‘Tokunboh is also a Fellow of the Finance Leaders Fellowship of the Aspen Institute.