Promoting women's empowerment with Malkia

Employers’ organizations
Gender equality and diversity

Promoting women's empowerment with Malkia

Women learn to master key managerial skills and gain confidence in their own skills, employability, and role as managers


Malkia means Queen in Swahili. It is also the name of the ITCILO women's empowerment programme targeting women managers. 


Malkia evokes strength of character, assertiveness, competence and willingness to help others grow. It sets the tone of this particular programme developed by women, for women.

Jeanne Schmitt
Main author and activity manager, ITCILO
Starting with the why

Despite some progress, women are still under-represented in leadership positions.

Unspoken rules and arrangements, work practices, and cultural norms  govern workplace structures and gender dynamics. They have the potential to limit women’s career opportunities and undermine their experience at the workplace.

The problem is especially acute for women line managers, who play a crucial role in business operations on a daily basis as the leaders of their teams and as a liaison between staff and upper management. More often than not, it is at that level of their career that women get stuck, discouraged, or disempowered to climb the corporate ladder.

In a world defined by complexity, disruption, and change, today’s most successful enterprises and organizations are those that bring diverse perspectives and experiences to each new challenge.


Along with being the right thing to do, empowering women offers a strategic advantage, especially at the management and leadership levels.

Johanne Lortie
Gender expert and activity manager, ITCILO
What do we do about it?

In 2020, the ITCILO launched the programme Malkia – Women Managers Rise Up: Skilling for Success.

Malkia is a mobile tool that helps women succeed by:
  • Giving advice and guiding women managers, like a mentor
  • Breaking the code of gender bias to foster awareness and assertiveness
  • Facilitating an interactive and practice-oriented skills journey
  • Providing a safe space to prepare for daily management challenges

With Malkia, women learn to master key managerial skills and gain confidence in their own skills, employability, and role as managers.

Malkia includes 4 key ingredients ...
  • Orientation: Information on gender biases at the workplace and self-assessment tool
  • Learning: Interactive learning modules on key managerial skills and opportunities to practice through simulations
  • Coaching: Personal action planning, guidance, and tips
  • Resources: A library to go deeper, a video playlist to get inspired, and access to a community of peers
… in a single empowerment tool!
  • Accessible via desktop and mobile (app)
  • Mixing methodology and technology to ensure learners’ engagement and impactful experience
Malkia mockup
Together, let’s harness the power of Malkia!

Are you a woman manager?

Malkia is available as a five weeks ITCILO global online course on a regular basis in English and soon in Spanish and French. Take advantage of Malkia’s hands-on approach through this course mixing learning at own pace, high-quality inputs, and engagement with peers and mentors. Contact us to learn more on timing and modalities!


Are you a business organization?

Malkia is developed, tested and implemented in partnership with local Employers and Business Member Organizations. You can embed Malkia in your organization’s regular service offer to company members and offer localized coaching opportunities. We are happy to discuss with you Malkia’s business model, contact us!


Empowering women managers is a priority for your organization?

Get in contact with us to find out how to join forces and disseminate Malkia within your network and organization. We have experience tailoring Malkia as an “in-company” staff development programme. 

For further information, please contact the team at or Jeanne Schmitt at