Gender Specialist

Reports To: Director of Impact and Partnerships; Lead of the Women in Agriculture Initiative
Job Type: Full-time and Permanent
Region: East Africa
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Start Date: Immediately
Contact: Please apply by filling out the form below.

About Root Capital

Root Capital invests in the growth of agricultural enterprises so they can transform rural communities. These businesses purchase crops such as coffee, cocoa, or grains from smallholder farmers. With growth, they become engines of impact that can raise incomes, create jobs, empower women and young people, sustain peace and preserve vulnerable ecosystems.

We supply these businesses with vital resources: access to capital, trade and technical partners, financial training and conservation practices. We work in hard-to-serve geographies where others don’t. To date, we’ve distributed $1.4 billion to improve the lives of over six million people in farming communities.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Root Capital currently has associated offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Senegal, and Kenya.

About our Women in Agriculture Initiative

In 2012, Root Capital launched the Women in Agriculture Initiative (WAI) to support agricultural enterprises across our portfolio in generating opportunities that are inclusive of women, and to deepen our impact—and our clients’ impact—on women across the value chain.

The WAI uses a four-pronged approach:

  • We finance gender-inclusive and women-led agricultural businesses that address inequality by actively creating jobs and opportunities for women. Our loans help businesses grow, enabling them to provide higher and more stable prices to their members—women and men.
  • We train women leaders, managers, support staff, and farmers in key financial and agricultural skills so they can thrive personally and professionally. We also equip businesses to understand and address barriers to women’s inclusion through gender equity training.
  • We foster women-led innovation to advance gender-inclusion policies and practices. Through our Gender Equity Grants, we help businesses implement activities to enhance women’s inclusion and economic empowerment, such as establishing a childcare center to give women employees peace of mind while at work that their children are safe, or creating savings groups for women so they can invest in income-generating activities.
  • We build support for gender inclusion by demonstrating both the business and social case for investing in rural women. We share what we’ve learned to help catalyze smarter gender lens investing and build broader support for women in agriculture.

To date, we have reached 463,000 women farmers (about 30% of all farmers we have reached) and 11,000 women employees through our lending and advisory services, with goals to increase our impact significantly over the next several years through our core activities and new programs.

Position Overview

Root Capital seeks an experienced Gender Specialist committed to the inclusion of women in the economic growth of their communities. The Gender Specialist will ensure the effective promotion of gender equality across all of Root Capital’s programs and engagements in East Africa (EAF) by working closely with our EAF team, partners, client businesses, and their employees and member producers.

The Gender Specialist will provide critical expertise, guidance and oversight to the Root Capital team in EAF on issues and challenges related to gender equity. She or he will provide important guidance for program design and fundraising proposal development, review and implementation; train Root Capital team members on gender intelligence and gender inclusion best practices; and coordinate and monitor our gender inclusion efforts in the region to ensure these efforts are achieving their goals.

In addition, the Gender Specialist will represent the WAI externally across Africa by working closely with and training our client businesses, their staff and member producers on improving gender inclusion; engaging existing and potential partners such as donors, policy makers and NGOs; participating in donor visits and events; and attending and presenting the WAI in conferences and events.

The Gender Specialist will work closely with all Root Capital team members in EAF, and as a core member of the WAI team, will work closely with the WAI Lead and WAI team members in other regions to ensure cohesion and learning across all WAI efforts. The position represents an exciting opportunity for an experienced and knowledgeable gender equality champion to be a core part of Root Capital’s WAI, helping it grow dramatically in the region and increase our impact on the lives of women throughout the region.


Advise, Manage, and Monitor Root Capital's Gender Inclusion Strategy and Activities in EAF (50%)

  • Identify and build Root Capital staff and consultant understanding of gender inclusion-related issues across Root Capital’s EAF services and programs to strengthen our ability to reach women with the products and services that help them succeed.
  • Advise and co-develop strategies to improve gender equality within Root Capital’s existing and proposed services and programs in close collaboration with the EAF Advisory, Lending, and Impact teams and global WAI team to deepen our impact on women.
  • Participate in program design and fundraising proposal development discussions to ensure incorporation of a strong gender lens in all Root Capital activities in the region.
  • Oversee all Root Capital’s gender inclusion initiatives in the region for quality assurance, cohesion, and effectiveness; advise on and oversee course correction as needed.
  • Advise on monitoring and evaluation activities, including review and development of gender-related metrics and survey questions as well as data collection protocols for the participatory collection of appropriate, high quality information on the women we aim to serve.

Design and Implement Gender Intelligence Training for Staff and Clients (20%)

  • Train Root Capital EAF staff and consultants in gender inclusion and provide on-going expertise to support staff members to continuously build knowledge of gender inclusion and its importance, ensure the use of a gender lens in their work, and secure wide support for the WAI and its goals.
  • Train Root Capital client businesses, in close collaboration with EAF Advisory team, on gender inclusion to increase understanding of the importance of gender inclusion within their businesses, and promote practices and policies for greater gender inclusion.
  • Identify gender training needs within Root Capital and our client businesses, propose new trainings or other services to address those needs.

Represent Root Capital's WAI Externally across Africa and Globally

  • Assume a key role in advancing the WAI’s field building agenda in Africa by:
    • Managing existing networks and partnerships with external stakeholders and identify and develop new networks and partnerships.
    • Participating in relevant conferences, events and dialogues in the region to share and build support for Root Capital’s work, and to engage with external stakeholders around gender inclusion.
  • Participate actively in donor meetings, events and trips in EAF to present our work and that of our client businesses to advance Root Capital’s field building mission in the agricultural development, impact investing, and women’s economic empowerment spaces, and to generate resources to support our work.
  • Contribute to the WAI communications efforts by documenting anecdotes, client examples, quotes, and photos that demonstrate the need for gender inclusion and impact of the WAI. Work with Root Capital’s Creative team to communicate WAI programs and impact to donors, investors, and other stakeholders.

Coordinate with Global and Regional WAI Teams (10%)

  • Represent the WAI in EAF internally in WAI meetings and conversations.
  • Maintain close, open communication with the WAI Lead, keeping her abreast of challenges and opportunities in EAF.
  • Share lessons learned and best practices with other regions.

Skills & Experience

  • Commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment and Root Capital’s mission.
  • University degree preferably in social sciences, economic development, gender or women’s studies, or related humanities field with a focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Masters degree in one of the above fields preferred.
  • At least five years experience in women-specific and gender issues, gender research or analysis, gender programming and/or advocacy for gender equality, ideally in the context of international development and/or in rural communities.
  • Experience in developing gender-related training content and conducting gender intelligence training. Strong facilitation skills.
  • Experience working in Africa on issues of gender equality; keen understanding of social and cultural dynamics of gender inclusion in African contexts.
  • Experience and skills in project management.
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal) in English (additional language capabilities strongly preferred, including French or a local language); strong ability to maintain open communication with multiple teams, and use of sound judgement on when to engage peers and/or supervisor.
  • Ability to effectively engage external, and high level audiences, including NGO leaders, policymakers, donors, agribusiness leaders, and smallholder farmers; proven ability to build and manage strategic partnerships.
  • Creative thinker and active problem solver; ability to identify challenges and develop innovative solutions.
  • Self-starter with ability to manage and prioritize multiple competing tasks and stakeholders; ability to thrive in a dynamic and entrepreneurial team environment.
  • Humility and empathy; ability to work with and identify the needs of women living and working in rural communities.
  • Ability to effectively engage with colleagues and audiences with diverse backgrounds, languages, cultures, knowledge and experience with gender inclusion, and education levels.
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office programs required.
  • Attention to detail. Very strong organizational skills.
  • Familiarity with impact investing, agricultural development, finance, and/or international economic development strongly preferred.
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently (roughly 30-40% of time) to mostly rural areas within East Africa where our clients operate, and elsewhere in Africa and beyond on occasion.


More information about Root Capital is available at Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply using the form below as soon as possible, making sure to include a resume and cover letter that describes your interest, qualifications, language abilities, salary requirements, and how you learned of the position.

Root Capital provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, active military or veteran status, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, and breastfeeding and expressing breast milk), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Root Capital is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that upholds our leadership principles of: empowerment, equity, integrity, service, and transparency

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