A civil society-led network of organisations and agencies that place gender equity, empowering women and girls,and accountability for our actions at the centre of how we work.



  • Where every individual feels included, respected, protected and valued
  • Where there is no violence, no intimidation, no discrimination and no stigma
  • Where everyone belongs
  • Where fair, progressive policies and practices are part of the organisational culture
  • Where 5050 means not only equal representation but equal treatment for all.

Workplace 5050 is a network committed to ‘gender equity plus’ as a first step towards realising the vision of  safe, inclusive workplaces

This document sets out a 9-point plan that any organisation committed to this vision can sign up to.

It provides a guide to key terms and looks at the basic requirements to put each of the nine points in place. It also signposts resources and tools for developing policies and standard operating procedures to support each measure.

Workplace 5050 is intended as a living commitment that will be enriched and refined by the contributions of organisations and individuals working in diverse contexts and facing different challenges to gender equity and inclusion.

The drafters recognise that there are many issues besides gender that contribute to marginalisation and inequality. Therefore it is essential to share expertise and experience across all sectors, and to consider gender in the broader context of justice, inequality & discrimination.

Gender equity in the workplace 9-Point Plan

1. Make public our commitment to gender equality and equity, and define these in our institutional policies

Believing that equality and inequality can both flow from gender constructions and definitions, we all commit to:

  • Recognising that gender is socially determined rather than derived directly from biological sex
  • Adopting a globally recognised definition of gender that takes account of power relations
  • Working in ways that maximise the personal aspirations and needs of staff and those with whom we work
  • Demonstrating zero tolerance for any form of discrimination based in any way on gender

2. Make equitable governance, management, staffing and remuneration decisions

Believing that gender equality and diversity in our governance, in our leadership, in our workplace and beyond changes our character as organisations, and also sends signals that support broader change, we all commit to:

  • Filling our governance structures with as close to a 50/50 gender balance in membership as possible
  • Practising equal opportunity and affirmative action in the hiring and promoting of staff, including always making clear in advertisements that we particularly encourage women to apply for advertised positions
  • Avoiding stereotyping at work and challenging stereotypes at home and in the community, by ensuring that, as far as possible, no level or occupation in our organisations is overwhelmingly staffed by one sex
  • Periodically reviewing and dismantling barriers that keep individuals or groups of people out of our sector and inhibit women from joining and thriving in our organisation.
  • Paying equal pay for equal work
  • Reducing the gender pay gap through annual reviews and taking action to mitigate the gap

3. Conduct performance appraisal and staff development that is gender-responsive

Believing that opportunities to develop both capabilities and careers should be equally available to all staff, but recognising the many disadvantages under which women in particular enter the workplace, we all commit to:

  • Promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women as a core value of the organisation
  • Integrating indicators for gender equality and women’s empowerment into performance management systems
  • Implementing staff development as a gender empowerment mechanism, addressing issues of inclusivity, non-discrimination and overcoming prejudice, and deliberately creating opportunities for women to acquire more skills
  • Ensuring gender-responsive spend in staff development
  • Ensuring that informal development opportunities, such as conferences, workshops, travel and exposure to new thinking and working, are assigned in a gender equality framework and are reported against in a gender disaggregated way

4. Recognise home responsibilities and care/parenting arrangements in workplace decisions and leave policy

Believing that women share an unfair burden of domestic and care-giving responsibilities, recognising that considerations at work can make life easier or more difficult for women in the workforce, and that all parents bringing up a child have responsibilities towards that role, we all commit to:

  • Structuring work times to allow, where reasonable, flexibility for home responsibilities for all staff regardless of gender
  • Considering structuring positions/jobs to allow for flexibility in appointments

5. Make visible our commitment to gender equality in the external representation of our organisation

Believing that public visibility of those who work for us creates a normative climate that either perpetuates gender stereotypes and inequality or promotes gender equality, we all commit to:

  • Ensuring that public representation of our organisation reflects gender equality across the events we attend and platforms on which we appear.

6. Prevent and respond to sexual abuse, sexual violence and sexual harassment, ensuring a survivor-centred approach

Believing that each individual has the right to work in an environment conducive to equal opportunity and free from discriminatory practices, and that every beneficiary, participant, staff member, consultant, or volunteer must feel safe and comfortable in our organisation, we all commit to:

  • Ensuring that our organisational policies and codes of conduct clarify our commitment to ending sexual violence and harassment
  • Ensuring that all personnel understand what kinds of behaviours by Board members, staff, consultants, volunteers & participants are not acceptable, both in the workplace and in our interactions with beneficiaries
  • Ensuring we have in place a clear, independent and secure procedure for reporting, investigating and acting on complaints against staff and managers at every level, in every country where we operate. The process should uphold confidentiality and respects the rights of accused persons to be innocent unless proven guilty, without blaming the victim
  • Ensuring we have procedures for responding to the needs of survivors that respect their right to confidentiality, and relationships with other organisations that can meet survivors’ needs for protection, medical care, mental health care, and legal aid.
  • Providing training for staff and volunteers on consent, sexual harassment and sexual violence, and how to respond to survivors following the above procedures
  • Ensuring that our security management systems address risk of sexual violence to staff, volunteers and participants, and include options to remove staff from unsafe work environments if necessary (e.g. where support is unavailable or the perpetrator cannot be removed).

7. Address gender issues in employee health and wellness

Believing that health and wellness are key to workplace equality, and that access to physical, mental and sexual and reproductive health services in all lifecycle phases is both a human right and an essential component of women’s equal participation in the workforce and in society, we all commit to:

  • Dialoguing with staff – within the bounds of privacy – as to the accessibility of sexual and reproductive health services, and taking reasonable and viable steps to support such access
  • Offering staff members – within the bounds of privacy – opportunities to report unmet needs for modern contraception, and to take reasonable and viable steps to support staff to meet these needs
  • Ensuring physical workplace conditions conducive to safe & dignified menstruation, including safe changing places, access to clean water, and disposal of menstrual products
  • Putting in place menstruation & menopause-responsive (pre, during and post) components of policy for both staff and volunteers.
  • Incorporating menstrual health & menopause into workplace sexual harassment policies

8. Support gender-responsive and transformative programming

Believing that all service delivery; investment – including corporate social investment and loans – development; community outreach; and humanitarian assistance work impacts on gender equality, and that the ways in which policy development/support, services, and resources are delivered and monitored may be gender-harmful/neutral, gender-responsive or transformative, we all commit to:

  • Including gender analysis in all our strategies, work plans and programming, and aiming for gender-responsive or transformative approaches;
  • Implementing and monitoring our programme delivery in close cooperation with members of local communities where relevant, especially with women’s organisations
  • Ensuring relevant programmatic data is age and sex-disaggregated
  • Conducting gender and age analyses of research to understand sex- and age-disaggregated findings, and calibrating programmes and strategies based on this evidence
  • Collecting, where feasible and viable, data on other markers of inequality and analysing the interaction among them. Such data/evidence should be a part of assessing the equitable impact of our organisation’s work
  • Considering gender equity actions, progress, and reporting in selecting and managing partnerships
  • Monitoring all investment, including in implementation and reporting, to ensure gender -responsiveness at all stages of funding processes

9. Conduct regular gender equality audits and report on progress

Believing that what is measured is valued, we all commit to:

  • Monitoring all of our commitments above on an annual basis and publishing the results of the monitoring
  • Taking steps to address the issues raised in these reports, through the development of improvement plans that are implemented and monitored


Gender equality: Equal recognition, and value regardless of gender. This entails the concept that all human beings are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by stereotypes, roles, or prejudices based on biological sex or gender identity. Gender equality means that the different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally. It does not mean that all people have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.

Gender Equity: Gender equity means fairness of treatment and access to resources and opportunities for all people, according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities. A gender-equity goal often requires deliberate measures to compensate for the historical and social disadvantages faced by women and other people.

Statement of intent

It is our intention as organisations and agencies signing up to this network:

  • To reach out and sign up as many organisations and agencies as will commit to walking the talk on gender equity
  • On signing up, to conduct a quick assessment of our gender-equality status
  • To work incrementally to improve our individual and collective performance on gender equity
  • To move beyond ‘acceptable’ on all commitments and to strive for excellence and ground-breaking progress.
  • To create a mutually-supportive community of practice among and between our organisations and agencies so as to increase our progress and to grow the workplace space for gender equity
  • To require similar commitments, actions, progress and reporting from our partner organisations
  • To report annually on our status and progress