The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

50/50 – Proudly at gender parity

At a pivotal moment for women’s rights, as we push forward towards the 2030 Agenda amid a global pandemic, UNOPS has achieved gender parity in its workforce.

“The fact that this ambitious gender parity drive has gone hand in hand with a strong performance for our organization over the past years serves as yet another reminder that when women are adequately represented, businesses perform better,” said UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo.

It cannot be disputed that equal participation is at the core of sustainable development and crucial for building a safe, inclusive and peaceful future. Three years ago, women represented 38 per cent of UNOPS 4,000 personnel when United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated: “Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.”

Rising to the challenge, UNOPS committed to action and launched its Gender Parity Strategy – to be a more sustainable organization, to better represent the people we serve and to ensure women, at all levels, see a future for themselves in the organization. Today, and despite significant obstacles – including the COVID-19 pandemic – UNOPS has achieved gender parity in its workforce. And it strengthens the organization’s ability to deliver equitable solutions to partners around the world.

From Afghanistan and Myanmar to the Central African Republic and Yemen, UNOPS works on the frontlines of development work in some of the world's most challenging and traditionally male-dominated contexts. Its personnel engage directly with communities facing the devastating impacts of conflict, extreme weather events and a lack of access to critical services and infrastructure. Achieving gender parity within its own workforce bolsters UNOPS ability to lead by example and better develop its projects in order to address the needs of all people.

Earlier this year, speaking at the UNOPS-hosted Gender Dialogues – The Road to Equality, UNOPS Director of Partnerships and Liaison Group, Émilie Potvin summed up the importance of gender equality when she said, “If you leave women out then you are building inequality into the foundations of our future. We can’t do that. We must do better.”

While celebrating workforce parity, the organization is committed to continuing its journey towards inclusiveness that goes beyond gender equality – to consider LGBTQI+ identities, disability, ethnicity and race, economic status, youth and many others.

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