Full-time- Fixed term contract position

We’re a tight-knit group of designers, strategists, builders, writers, and connectors fueled by curiosity, optimism, and a passion for social change. Our work tackling some of the world’s toughest design challenges takes us all over the world—from communities across Asia and Africa to neighborhoods in our own backyards.

Project Background

Over the next 2 years, IDEO.org will build a breadth of solutions that enable low income women to access, use & participate in digital financial services (DFS). This project will begin to answer the how of introducing DFS into the lives of women: how to build trust with them; how to get them access to digital financial services; and how accounts and payments can have the positive impact on their lives.

The project consists of (1) a multi-country investigation on the gender-specific barriers, (2) identification of opportunities to improve the effectiveness of government social safetynet program, (3) design, prototype, and pilot a set of solutions that improve marginalized women’s access and engagement with DFS.

Position Description

IDEO.org is in search of a Gender Specialist who will spearhead our gender research and infuse gender equity thinking into our multidisciplinary design teams.

The Gender Specialist will ensure that our approach to this work applies the most up-to-date global perspectives on gender rights and empowerment and pushes us to be gender transformative in the solutions we create. They will be embedded with the design team through the design research phase, providing input input on the theoretical, ethical, methodological, and analytical frameworks that characterize our inquiry and immersion activities. They will join the design team in field to provide real-time support to design activities, as well as conducting additional expert or user interviews where more specific gender expertise is required. We are looking for someone who is a hands-on researcher, with experience in translating insights into tangible recommendations for real-world solutions.

The Gender Specialist will also bring a critical gender lens to how IDEO.org approaches field recruiting, decision-making, and implementing of prototypes and the project more broadly. This will include gender sensitivity training for our design community and active participation in internal and external ethics reviews. You are able to easily switch between critical analysis and creative problem solving, and have a curiosity for design and other approaches to social innovation.

Through this thought partnership we hope to ensure that we are deliberate in recognising gendered implications—in particular those of power, equity, and voice—of our presence and activities in these contexts and the solutions we introduce.

The role is based in San Francisco, CA. You will closely work with design teams in our studio, accompanying them into the field. The ideal candidate has 10+ years of gender equality / women empowerment research and /or programming experience in emerging countries, but has also developed solutions to these very challenges. This is a unique opportunity for someone looking to apply gender expertise to a design process, resulting in tangible solutions.

Required skills and experiences:

  • Ph.D. degree, or Master’s degree with at least 10 years of professional experience, in gender equality / women empowerment research and or programming in low / middle income countries
  • Experience with digital financial services
  • Experience conducting multi-country studies
  • A curiosity for design and an openness to creative and experimental ways of working
  • Flexible and solution-oriented in bridging disciplinary perspectives and ways of working
  • Record of publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at conferences
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and willingness to explore creative approaches to bringing technical content to diverse audiences.
  • Willing to travel internationally 20-30% 
  • BONUS: Experience in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Pakistan and/or Bangladesh
  • US work authorization

Equal Opportunity Employer:

IDEO.org is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.



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