What’s up with Gender?

Within the field of international development ‘gender’ has become a trending topic. No discussion can do without. Organisations are challenged by society and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda to think about how they can translate “gender equality” or “gender justice” into policy and practice. 


Gender equality is more than indicators. It takes more than looking at the gender ratio in your team or establishing a women-first hiring policy to achieve gender equality within your organisation. So what does it take to make your organisation more gender just? A deeper understanding, awareness about inclusivity and appreciation of diversity is needed. Only when you are aware of the expectations that arise from underlying power structures you can redefine components of gender and the value you assign to it.

So, how can you achieve a greater sense of awareness and achieve a behavioural change in your job as well?

Redefining roles

Recently, we worked on a gender assignment to promote gender justice at the International Land Coalition (ILC) Secretariat. Nowadays more and more clients cannot assign for team learning events demanding more than a day. As an answer to the client demand, we tested a fully tailored learning trajectory using drip feed learning; combining a variety of distance learning features with a short moment of face-to-face learning. Drip feed learning ensures that learning takes place over a longer time, thus increasing retention.

We designed and organised an interactive quiz, followed by a webinar for staff and council members worldwide on identity, stereotyping, and gender equality. With a homework assignment, we asked participants to reflect on their own identity and situations in their workplace where gender roles are apparent and restrictive to value talents. This identity story was the starting point for the face-to-face learning event in Rome. Here, the stories link to the organisational practices and its projects. The trajectory ended with peer-to-peer coaching sessions on gender just planning, monitoring and evaluation.


Photos made by ILC

(photos: ILC)

Finally, participants walked away with different insights. Some got a first personal understanding of the impact of the different ways we develop ourselves due to the gender roles in our daily surroundings, others were eager to start an organisational analysis and change trajectory in their own organisation, and others wanted to start the mainstreaming of gender justice in their project services. As one of the participants said:


"Learning about gender is thinking about how we can change things for the better"


At MDF, we help professionals in their organisations becoming more gender-aware and ultimately become an organisation with gender equality at its core. We are now offering this blended training trajectory as one of our services. Would you like to know how your organisation or team is dealing with stereotyping and gender equality? Get in touch with our expert Nadine Bergmann to know more about the custom designed options.


Do you already know the answer to the first question?

74% of UK firms pay more to their male staff. (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-43129339). But keep in mind: achieving gender equality involves more than changing this percentage.