International Gender Champions have developed SMART commitments to advance gender equality. Some of the commitments and actions our Champions have taken in the last year are outlined below.

Here are some of the things you might do based on The IGC Geneva Y1 achievements:

Executive Management:

Improve recruitment processes and create smarter evaluation procedures (taken from Iris Bohnet WHAT WORKS – Gender Equality by Design. Harvard University Press. 2016.)

Set clearly defined and measurable targets for staffing and recruitment, (with a particular focus on increasing the numbers of women in P-4 positions and above, or their institutional equivalent if you are not in the UN System).

Include a gender module in your orientation/ induction and leadership programs to foster greater gender awareness. (UNOG)

Undertake a small or large gender audit to assess your organization’s internal culture, and overall ability to operationalize your commitment. Develop an Organizational Gender Policy. It’s not necessarily complicated with the ILO Kit in a Box or the Interaction Handbook.

  • Work with Human Resources, head-hunters and recruitment agencies to remove gendered language from job adverts and company communications.
  • Communicate to HR that balanced men and women candidate short lists will be applicable.
  • Reduce bias by anonymizing forms (remove demographic data)
  • Use an interview checklist for comparative, structured interviews.
  • Interview separately (no group interviews). Ask questions in same order. Score immediately. Set aside until entire interview process is over.

Promote the career advancement of female colleagues through:

  • Unconscious bias training (the Harvard University Implicit test)
  • Organization-wide gender and diversity capacity building
  • Peer to Peer, Cross-Organizational, or Reverse Mentoring programs
  • Sponsorship programs
  • Individualized leadership training

Establish an organizational culture that supports both men and women to achieve work life balance and does not discriminate against employees who need to provide care for others (eg. Scandinavian Countries, CITES).

  • Flex-hour policies
  • Avoid calling early in the morning or late at night meetings
  • On-site child-care facilities


  • Communicate with Capital to promote the appointment of more female diplomats and progressively achieve more gender-balanced delegations both within Geneva and in those visiting from Capital (achieved by Chile and Afghanistan).
  • Ensure that there is greater representation of women experts and leaders across all areas except gender equality and child rights, where there should be greater participation by men (eg. Scandinavia).
  • Establish quotas for delegations participating in Governing Assemblies and decision-making structures of International Organisations (IPU)
  • Develop a Strategic Framework on Gender and Diversity to be implemented by the Secretariat (IFRC).
  • Promote open transparent election processes and gender balanced national nominations for special procedures and expert bodies.
  • Make UNSWAP results transparent and publish them, together with goals to improve next year. Where your organization has exceeded requirements on indicators, publish details of innovative solutions and best practices.

Programmatic Work:

  • Ensure that staff can prioritize time on policies, events and collaborations that advance gender equality. Incorporate this into the appraisal process at all levels of the organization.
  • Ensure that all statements and policies delivered in international fora have a gender based lens and systematically advocate for strong gender responsive language on gender equality and empowerment.
  • During the Universal Periodic Review process build on recent country-specific recommendations by Treaty Body Committees, Working Groups and Special Procedures.
  • Undertake institutional initiatives to strengthen and increase the meaningful, effective participation of women in order to ensure that women influence the design and implementation of programs, policies and peace initiatives.

Visibility and Communication

  • Promote the culture of gender equality. Increase visibility of initiatives, actions and role models through on-line communications including blogs, social media and your own Champion’s speech(es) on gender equality.
  • Develop synergies and create more platforms to advance gender equality by organizing and participating in side-events, joint statements and joint initiatives to share best-practices.
  • Conduct a gender analysis of all public images including invitations, posters and graphics on your website and social media to ensure that they are not gender biased.

Take a tangible step towards women’s economic empowerment…

Create a gender equality policy for procurement of contractors, communicate this to all agencies you do business with, and follow up to ensure compliance (A key recommendation of the UN High-level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment).