Attracting and retaining more women in any type of organization is considered being “smart economics”,  yet women continue to be left behind in leadership roles. This situation is true in the United Nations and International Organisations, where women are still under-represented. It is even more relevant when looking at women from the Middle East, Asia  and countries South of Sahara.  Is it because men do not want to relinquish power? Or because we accept that gender parity  is just a long-term aspiration and that slow progress is just business as usual in International Organisations? Is it because we simply do not know how to improve the situation? Or has a sense of fatigue stepped in, given the limited impact of the initiatives, policies and institutions established in the name of women and gender equality? The United Nations and International Organisations are societies’ role model of what a diverse workforce is supposed to be, we must keep them accountable and keep the achievement of gender parity in their agenda.

In advocacy of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals : Goal 5 – Gender EqualityGoal 8 – Decent work for all; moreover, both Goals 16 and 17 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions Partnerships for the Goals;  we conducted the WIO Network case study to analyse the current UN hiring system from the perspective of qualified women applicants to identify the obstacles to entry, their causes, measure the socio-economic impact of this under-representation and plan to present our findings to the United Nations bodies.

In collaboration with Judith Kohlenberger, Institute for Social Policy, Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), the results of the WIO network case study will be presented at the WIO Network conference.


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