Kristalina Georgieva

Owing to her family history, Kristalina’s socio-cultural influence in her politics is the most spearheading. She grew up in a communist regime as the grand-daughter of a freedom fighter and eventually, the daughter of a civil engineer. Nationalism, as well as her Eastern European influence, is pivotal due to the role her mother played in her life. Her affluence during dire times led her to embrace western education. Later on in her life, her upbringing shifted to elite western education systems. This eventually garnered her approach to economics and finance leading her to work in the World Bank and the EU. 

Kristalina is, therefore, a mixture of her Eastern communist roots and a Western education and belief system and represents the latter more strongly than the former.  This is in a way a part of the strife she personally holds in making her western influence strong and emerge stronger than her Eastern European communist roots. 

Gender based policies

On her gender gap policies, Kristalina has a  personal inclination as well as motivation in pushing these forward  This includes her mother playing a pivotal role in her life as well as consistently being a female leader in a male-dominated industry. This makes the cause personal. Hence, irrespective of the support she enjoys, her push for gender equality policy takes a primal position. 

Gender gap policies also fall under the liberal spectrum making them more acceptable to her supporters even if they prove to be constraint challenges. As some key changes go, she backed quotas for the private sector to accelerate better representation of women in C-suites, citing IMF studies that companies boosted results by 8% to 11% if they had women on their boards or senior management. Georgieva also launched a new IMF working paper on unpaid labour, which showed that women do an average of 2.7 more hours of childcare, house cleaning and other unpaid work per day than men. 

While working papers are good to garner attention to the subject, the IMF and consequently Kristalina do not have a direct sphere of influence in eradicating gender inequality in the financial sector. Still, her push for the conversation to start is evident in her petitioning for action. 

Aashna Gadia

Research & Analysis Alumna