Building Forward Women Deliver: Transformation Update & Call for Nominations for our Board of Directors – Women Deliver

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Building Forward Women Deliver: Transformation Update & Call for Nominations for our Board of Directors

Women Deliver - Building Forward

New York, NY, 14 May 2021 | Today, we — the staff and Board of Directors at Women Deliver — would like to share an update on our transformative process, the core values that will continue to guide our work, and our plans for the next chapter.

Ten months ago, Women Deliver launched its transformation to ensure that we can truly cultivate and practice a culture of respect and inclusion for all, after reflecting on our history and the harms we have caused to those we care about. This intense and long-overdue undertaking required active listening, deep learning, and concrete action to ensure that Women Deliver is a more equitable and inclusive organization for our staff, the advocates we work alongside, and the girls and women we serve. Throughout this process, our community held us accountable — and we are deeply grateful for that. We accept full responsibility for our past actions and inaction, and the perspectives of those pushing us to do more and go further were invaluable contributions as we actively strive to be a better organization.

Through a robust effort from the staff, Board, Young Leaders, and partner organizations and advocates, we have begun to lay the groundwork to become the organization we hope to be: intentionally anti-racist and anti-colonialist, while centering intersectionality and acknowledging and examining our power and privilege. These guiding principles are now embedded throughout our organization’s programming, policies, structures, strategies, and work culture. Together, we have made significant, structural changes to the way Women Deliver operates. And, we are reshaping how we work through a new leadership model that prioritizes intersectional feminist leadership principles, co-creates and shares decision-making with staff and other stakeholders, and centers the voices of the advocates we serve globally. These changes, which are more fully detailed here and summarized below, define how we approach our advocacy and partnerships.

This is just the beginning. We know our transformation is not a destination, but a constant process that will require continuous learning and work. Guided by principles of intersectionality and key learnings from our transformation and partners, we recently launched a new, comprehensive, five-year Strategic Framework to ensure that we continue to drive inclusive, representative, and sustainable change.

Our Transformation Update

Since Women Deliver publicly shared our plan for an organizational transformation in June 2020, we have been doing the careful and diligent work of implementation. The following updates are some examples of what we are working on in this ongoing process:

  1. Collected, reviewed, and are in the process of implementing over 140+ recommendations for change provided by the staff, Board, Young Leaders, partner advocacy organizations, and DEI experts.
  2. Dissolved our previous top-down organizational structure. Today, we are a flatter organization, in which the majority of our staff serve as leads for one or more streams of work. Together, these leadership roles work together and transparently on key decisions for the organization.
  3. Incorporated several internal and external accountability mechanisms that ensure informed decision making, strengthened representation, and more inclusive recruitment practices, such as electing a staff representative to participate in Board meetings and publicizing salary bands on all open job postings.
  4. Established the Young Leader-led Transformation Engagement Working Group (TEWG), in collaboration with Young Leaders and Alumni, which developed a comprehensive report of recommendations, informed by the findings of a survey and several open dialogue sessions, for improving the Young Leaders Program.
  5. Articulated the human rights-based and intersectional partnership principles that guide our approach to working with others, prioritizing consultation and collaboration in how we show up in the movement for gender equality and promote more structural change.

These are just some examples of the ways in which we have increased our accountability to the advocates with whom we work and our partners. A larger and more detailed description of this work can be found on our transformation website, which is updated regularly.

Recruiting the Next Leaders of Women Deliver - Board Chair and CEO

The staff and Board at Women Deliver are looking ahead to our next chapter with renewed hope, excitement, and unwavering commitment to the organization’s mission. Together, we are preparing a foundation for the next leaders of our organization to carry forward and build upon for years to come.

Today, we are pleased to share that we have charged the leading global executive search firm, Perrett Laver, with assisting us in recruiting our next Board Chair and CEO. Perrett Laver finds outstanding leaders who bring diversity and vision to mission-driven sectors in over 70 countries globally. The firm has a diverse network from which to attract talent and a track record of placing leaders who embrace values and principles like anti-racism in executive positions. With their help, we hope to bring new leaders to Women Deliver — leaders who inspire us, are driven by our shared goal of a gender-equal world, challenge the status quo, share our strong commitment to diversity, anti-racism, and decolonization, and understand where we would like to go next as an organization.

It is critical to us that we embark on a recruitment process that is inclusive, highly participatory, and applies an intersectional feminist lens. Already, staff have been engaged in the recruitment process with our search firm through interviews, focus groups, and surveys. The Board has formed a search committee that includes representatives from our staff and members of the Board, the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program, local and national partner advocacy organizations, and our funding partners to ensure that the entire process allows for input from many different perspectives.

Our criteria are focused — and demanding — because we care deeply about the leadership and direction of this organization, and most of all, the advocates we are committed to support. We seek a Board Chair who is a champion for gender equality and the rights of all girls and women, has organizational governance experience, has the vision and energy to help guide us through the implementation of our new Strategic Framework, and is a leader who will be an effective advocate for Women Deliver. In a CEO, we are looking for a visionary leader with global experience who will inspire and expand the movement for the health and rights of all girls and women. In addition to finding our next Board Chair and CEO, Perrett Laver will help us broaden the Women Deliver Board so that our Board continues to be representative of the populations we serve.

A search of this importance will take time. Our hope is that these leadership roles will be filled before the end of the year. The search for a new Board Chair and Board members will commence first, in accordance with sound governance practices, while the search for our next CEO will launch next month. We have learned that a true transformation — one that is thorough, collaborative, and considers long-term consequences and changes — requires thoughtful work and dedication. Finding a slate of candidates that reflect our commitment to the values we want to uphold is more important to us than an expedited search.

Our Mission Continues

As we continue to transform, we do so during a pivotal year for gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Our mission over the last 10 years — to improve the well-being of girls and women, in all their intersecting identities, and to drive progress for gender equality — is stronger than ever. We remain focused on our programmatic work, including but not limited to participating in this year’s Generation Equality Forum, hosting the next Women Deliver Conference (WD2023), supporting our many partners in the global and national Deliver for Good Campaign, and amplifying the voices of the young change-makers who make up the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. And in all of this work, we continue to advocate for a gender lens in COVID-19 response and recovery. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with our many allies, networks, and coalitions to achieve our shared goals, as well as developing and delivering robust, evidence-based advocacy in support of gender equality.

None of these efforts would be possible without the global community of advocates that we are honored to work with and learn from. We thank you for your continued partnership and for holding us accountable.

Below you will find the Perrett Laver job announcement and information on how to nominate candidates or apply for the Board Chair and Board positions. We thank you for sharing this information with your networks.

Please click here to apply or obtain further information on the required qualifications, skills, and experience for this opportunity.