Development Organizations Should Address Gender Equality Within Their Own Workplaces

Devex: Opinion: It’s time we walk the talk on gender equality. Here’s how.
Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development

“Women’s equality and empowerment is a driver of economic growth and development around the world, and development organizations routinely include and espouse this goal as part of their missions and activities. But if you peel back the curtain, there are serious questions about whether — behind the scenes — development organizations are living up to these values in the workplace. My colleagues … analyzed a random sample of 30 U.S. organizations (10 each from foundations, think tanks, and NGOs) that work on global development, and found that less than one-third of key/high-paid employees at the sampled think tanks are women, and that key/high-paid women appear to be paid less than key/high-paid men in all three of the sample groups. … The data is clear: There is more that we can all be doing, and it’s time to look inward. First, development aid organizations need better workplace policies. … Second, development organizations need to foster work environments that are safe spaces for women and people of all genders. … Finally, there’s the subtle stuff. It’s pointing out a problem when you see it … Cultural shift and leadership is essential to make policies effective…” (3/5).