Sonal Jaitly

Senior Manager

Sonal is a Senior Manager at MSC and leads the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) practice.

Sonal’s work focuses on women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment, integrating a gender perspective into policies and programs, gender mainstreaming with financial service providers, combining insights from behavioral sciences and technology use, and digital financial services to enhance inclusion. She has more than a decade of experience working on gender issues. Her prior experience includes working as a Theme Leader for Gender at the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). She led women’s enterprise development programs and provided technical assistance to government stakeholders. She has also led programs for ending violence against women during her tenure at UN Women. She has authored and contributed to several reports on gender equality, and her writing was featured in The Washington Times.

Posts by Sonal Jaitly

Strengthening the care economy: Benefits for developing countries

A robust care economy is crucial for developing nations as it promotes gender equality and drives inclusive economic growth. Through an increased number of women in the workforce and improved training, wages, and working conditions in the care industry, governments and the private sector can create a stronger care economy. MSC has worked with a range of stakeholders, simplified childcare models, and provided recommendations to accelerate the development of a vibrant care economy.

Fishing for change: How a policy initiative in India’s Bihar state shows pathways to women’s economic empowerment and climate change adaptation

Explore the transformative approach that the Government of Bihar has undertaken to boost aquaculture in Bihar, through JEEViKA. This blog delves into how JEEViKA mobilizes women SHG-based fish farmer producer groups (FFPGs) and provides them with access to community ponds and water resources to take up aquaculture as a livelihood activity. This initiative has multiple gains, such as improved income and nutrition, increased access and control of women over community resources, and rejuvenation of water resources to tackle climate change. This initiative brings women to the forefront of a livelihood stream that has traditionally been a male domain.

Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs – A highway to growth

MSC and the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) researched women entrepreneurs’ awareness, access, experience, and perceptions of the value derived from mentorship. The report “Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs—A Highway to Growth” provides essential insights into the need, design, and perceived value of entrepreneurial mentorship for women-led businesses. It offers a glimpse of the current mentorship landscape in India and its skewed geographical and gender focus. The report also offers key recommendations to enhance the nationwide availability of effective mentorship for women entrepreneurs.

Women and credit

MSC partnered with SEWA Bharat to research women entrepreneurs’ credit journey and experiences. The report “Women and Credit: Access to Credit for Micro and Small Female Entrepreneurs in India” delves into micro and small women entrepreneurs’ credit journey and explores demand and supply-side factors. The study shares insights on credit requirements, experiences, challenges, and key credit success determinants for individual and collective women-led enterprises. It also shares the supply-side experiences of bankers and other organizations and some good practices supply-side stakeholders implement to mitigate and distribute credit risk.

India’s blanket approach to financial inclusion is leaving women behind: Here are four ways to close the gender gap

India has been at the forefront of digital innovations in financial services, helping millions participate in the financial economy through their mobile phones. However, this progress and innovation are meaningless for the millions of Indian women who remain excluded from basic banking in the first place. The strategies we have discussed in this blog directly impact women’s financial inclusion.

Job losses, business closure — Covid hit female entrepreneurs. Here’s how to support them

This article discusses the impact of COVID-19 on women-owned enterprises and highlights the key challenges they face. It calls for creating an enabling ecosystem to promote women’s entrepreneurship and suggests six key enablers that could catalyze women’s entrepreneurship in India.

Caregiving, the hidden engine of the economy

The joint op-ed published in The Hindu BusinessLine, cowritten by MSC and NITI Aayog, talks about the disproportionate burden of unpaid care work on women. This disproportionate burden is an issue of equality and economic growth. The op-ed argues that market development and innovation in the “Care sector” have the potential to offer solutions and choices to reduce this unfair burden on women.

Women and DFS

This blog highlights the key drivers of gender gaps in women’s access to digital financial services and their use. It shares how the adoption of DFS among women can catalyze the mitigation of this gender gap. It uses insights from a first-time DFS user’s journey to highlight how to understand and respond better to women’s exclusion.