Partners from across the United Nations system came together on 30 May in UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss how behavioural, institutional and cultural change can accelerate progress for gender equality.
In her keynote speech, Jan Beagle, Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS, emphasized that if change management is undertaken in a gender-responsive manner, barriers to gender equality in the workplace can be addressed and overcome. She shared the progress that UNAIDS has made in gender equality, including near gender parity among staff, 40% of UNAIDS country directors being female and 100% compliance with the performance indicators of the United Nations System-Wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. She also underlined the need to shift organizational cultures to empower staff everywhere. UNAIDS is taking gender out of isolation and mainstreaming equality and inclusion throughout the Secretariat.
Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, who delivered the other keynote speech, reaffirmed the commitment of the United Kingdom to empowering women and girls, while emphasizing the importance of creating organizational cultures that uphold gender equality. He reflected on the potential of Geneva as an international hub for human rights, trade and humanitarian work that brings together the collective power of the United Nations and its Member States.
The participants represented the broad array of United Nations entities in Geneva, including senior advisers on human resources, change management and gender. The meeting was organized by the International Gender Champions Geneva, UNAIDS and the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.
The workshop is the first of a series of initiatives to be undertaken by UNAIDS and the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom, who Co-Chair the International Gender Champions change management impact group. Through the impact group, the Co-Chairs seek to identify and overcome institutional barriers that prevent women’s influence and advancement in Geneva-based international organizations.
“If we can better harness our collective power to achieve change that places gender equality and women’s empowerment at the centre, we will be a powerful force” Julian Braithwaite, Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations in Geneva.
“Transforming our organisations in ways that gender equality becomes embedded across structures, processes and levels is our collective responsibility. We need your commitment and your leadership, and we also need you to bring others onboard.” Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director.
“It’s time to change our institutional DNA and create the environments for genuine gender equality”. Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, Co-Founder International Gender Champions and Executive Director of Women@theTable.