Who we are
International Gender Champions is a leadership network that brings together female & male decision-makers determined to break down gender barriers and make gender equality a working reality in their spheres of influence. We launched at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, July 2015.
As of this writing, the network numbers over 235 active Champions and Alumni who are the heads of International Organizations, Permanent Missions, and Civil Society Organizations.
To become a Champion
One must be the head of an organization, permanent mission, or institution. Champions currently include the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the heads of UN Offices at Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi, the ILO, WHO, WTO, WIPO, ITU, UNHCR, OHCHR, IPU, NGOs, academic institutions, and Permanent Representatives of Member States.
Each Champion assigns a Focal Point from their organization. Focal Points work on the implementation of the Champion’s commitments and represent the Champion and institution within the larger IGC Focal Point network.
In her keynote speech to the Gender Champions in February 2016 Professor Linda Scott, Emeritus DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, said:
The IGC network has made history in that leaders of trade, health, labor, science, the humanitarian community, human rights, and the environment had never gathered before with member states and civil society to exclusively discuss solutions to the gender equality puzzle across sectors and disciplines.
Find out more about us on the "Geneva Geeks: Innovation and Impact" Podcast.
Why gender equality
Gender equality is essential for us to achieve peace, defend rights, foster economic growth, and promote the well-being of all. Committed leaders can generate momentum at the highest levels to create meaningful change and facilitate strong cross-cutting links for great potential impact. International Gender Champions seeks to catalyse those links and mobilise that change.
What We do
IGC Panel Parity Pledge
All International Gender Champions sign the Panel Parity Pledge to no longer sit on single-sex panels. This Pledge is at the core of the International Gender Champions initiative.
Champions make two individualized commitments that pertain to new or ongoing work to achieve gender equality in their organization and its activities. Therefore the commitments exist on a broad spectrum and trigger diverse actions.
Find out more about the Champion's commitments.
In addition to the IGC Panel Parity Pledge and their 2 commitments, Champions are expected to adhere to the IGC values and to act in accordance with the highest ethical standards, including:
- Treating every person with respect and fairness;
- Valuing diversity;
- Creating and maintaining safe workplaces;
- Working together with other Champions in a spirit of openness, honesty and transparency.
Impact Groups are voluntary working groups loosely organized by theme and led jointly by Champions. Current Impact Groups include ones on: Representation, Change Management, Trade, and Disarmament.
All International Gender Champions:
- Sign the IGC Panel Parity Pledge to strive for gender parity in all discussions, and to no longer sit on any single-sex panels.
- Undertake two SMART commitments that can be accomplished in one year to advance gender equality, either in the executive management of the organization or in programmatic work.
- Highlight the International Gender Champions network and report results on their website.
- Participate in bi-annual meetings of the network to exchange experience and strategize on how to accomplish our commitments.
- International Gender Champions must have a physical presence and engage in the network Hub where they are based.
Where we are
Geneva. New York. Vienna. Nairobi. The Hague. Since 2017, the International Gender Champions has experienced rapid growth, expanding from Geneva to other cities, including New York and Vienna, soon to be joined by Hubs in Nairobi and The Hague.