Update for February 2018: Mentorship, Trans Inclusive Guidelines, and Gender Parity Strategy
It’s been a while since I last updated you, and much has happened since then.
A while back we issued a call for mentors and mentees to participate in the UN-GLOBE Mentorship Program. The aim of the program is to support the careers of LGBTI-identified individuals in the UN system, and to establish an increasing sense of community. Since that call was issued, we have paired 70 mentees— interns, consultants, and staff members at all P or G levels— with more senior mentors.
We hope to do a new matching exercise in the latter half of 2018 after evaluating the current exercise.
The UN-GLOBE Mentorship Program is part of an overall goal to establish LGBTI-identified people as a visible, sizable, and influential segment in the UN system. Other projects in the near future will seek to address the information void that exists for LGBTI-identified people who are considering job offers in many of the countries where the UN serves. In Country X, will I be able to bring my spouse? Is it safe for families? These are some of the questions whose answers we’ll collect and make available to you.
And we continue to work with DSS to ensure the safety and security for all LGBTI-identified staff no matter where they serve.
In addition to this, I am extremely pleased to announce that UN-GLOBE is finally unveiling its Recommendations for inclusive workplaces for trans and gender non-conforming staff. In a world where trans-identified and gender non-conforming individuals are the victims of harassment, and discrimination, the UN must lead by example. The UN must be a place where a trans-identified staff can be hired as an admin. assistant and end up one’s career as an Under-Secretary-General.
From gender-neutral bathrooms at the UN, to the use of gender-neutral language, to more gender options to choose from in employment forms, these comprehensive Recommendations are intended to capacitate the UN to meet the needs of trans-identified and gender non-conforming individuals.
These Recommendations are also a perfect fit with the UN System-Wide Strategy on Gender Parity. The Gender Parity Strategy cannot succeed unless the UN culture changes. It is time to rethink gender at the UN. It is time to move away from a culture of binary gender (man, woman) to a culture of gender diversity that is inclusive of people of all gender identities (or a non-gender identity).
The Gender Parity Strategy offers a unique opportunity to achieve cultural change, and UN-GLOBE intends to push to make this change a reality. Our Recommendations show the path forward towards achieving this change.
One key way is to rethink gender parity not as between men and women, but between overrepresented genders, and under-represented genders, with the latter giving entry to trans-identified and non-gender identified individuals among others (Recommendation 2).
I have more to say about UN-GLOBE actions to address the UN System-Wide Strategy on Gender Parity, and will do so in a separate e-mail.
For now, please know that the Recommendations for inclusive workplaces for trans and gender non-conforming staff were drafted as result of the hard work of a UN-GLOBE task force on gender that met for one year, and with trans-identified staff voices in the lead.
We need your help to see them enacted. Share them widely. Mention them during any relevant meetings you participate at. Reach out to us to discuss in which ways you can help. We are currently in the process of sending the Recommendations to all heads of UN agencies. Your support and feedback would be crucial.
Finally, the network of UN-GLOBE representatives around the world is expanding! And this is crucial. Presence on the ground where the UN serves can be a way to ensure that the voices of LGBTI-identified individual are heard, that LGBTI-identified staff no longer remain invisible. They are also your go-to person should be in the field with them.
12 new persons are joining us and I will share their names and bios in separate message.
Hyung Hak Nam (Alfonso)