Putting gender into the heart of IIED

IIED's mission is to build a fairer, more sustainable world using evidence, action and influence in partnership with others. But without gender equality and gender equity, there can be no social justice or sustainable development.

Ethiopian women sort coffee beans at a long table. Gender equality and equity are vital components of the way IIED works (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

Gender equality and gender equity are fundamental to achieving IIED's mission. But they are not just prerequisites to the issues we work on, they are also essential to our ways of working. 

We are an institute that believes in collaboration, impact and fairness – inside our institute as well as in the wider world. 

Our research and action aims to put people first in the environmental agenda. We want to empower the world's poorest and most vulnerable people to improve their own livelihoods while respecting environmental limits. 

By definition that must include a transformative approach to gender – one that critically examines gender roles, relations and dynamics; and transforms the underlying social structures, policies and norms that perpetuate inequalities and imbalances between and among women and men. 

At the same time, we want a fair and inclusive workplace that is truly gender equal. That requires us to first acknowledge that our approach to gender equality and equity is shaped by our individual and collective knowledge, behaviours, values, practices and societal norms; and to then assess our policies, principles and practices and routinely seize opportunities for improvement.

Our vision

Our vision is to secure equal opportunities and equitable outcomes for all staff and partners – regardless of ability, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or background – to enable us to support fairer, more inclusive sustainable development.  

That means putting gender equality and equity at the heart of what we do and how we do it. We believe in being an organisation where:

  • The working culture supports all staff to have a positive work-life balance that successfully combines work and personal life
  • All policies, procedures and practices deliver gender equality and equity and ensure a transformative approach
  • Women and men have equitable access to resources and opportunities; and equal representation and influence in decision-making arenas
  • All staff have the capacity and confidence to understand and tackle gender issues effectively
  • Excellent gender analysis is embedded in our research
  • All partnerships with individuals, communities and organisations are both empowering and equitable, and
  • Shared learning on gender equality and equity is promoted by reflecting and acting on evidence.

We have also set two key goals: 

  1. To build a diverse and fulfilled workforce that thrives in its career, family and personal life, and
  2. To produce high-quality research that shapes gender equality and equity for sustainable development.

This is a summary of IIED's gender manifesto, which was produced in 2016 and also contains a series of commitments to making our gender promises a reality. We are taking our manifesto commitments forward by developing an institutional gender policy. This will be a focus from April 2019 and will formalise our intentions to integrate gender equality into all aspects of our work and organisation.

Find out more about IIED's work to analyse and integrate gender issues in all our activities, and to engage and contribute to emerging debates on gender.