Gavi’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
We commit to fostering a just, equitable and diverse culture free from racism and discrimination in which all staff, partners and stakeholders feel empowered, safe and heard.
- 24 September 2020
- 3 min read
- by Gavi Staff
Gavi recognises that talent and potential may be equally distributed, but opportunity, too often, is not. We therefore commit to ensuring that all our staff and stakeholders feel equally valued, appreciated, included, empowered and safe regardless of their age, disability, ethnicity, national origin, family status, sex, gender identity or expression, language, organisation function, physical characteristics, race, religion, spirituality, sexual orientation, or any intersecting aspect that makes them unique.
Teaching moments such as the “Me Too” movement allowed Gavi to take rapid strides in gender equity, winning many accolades including top most ranking among 200 organisations in Global Health 50/50 Report for two consecutive years now. We also have the distinction of being the first international organisation in global health to receive equal gender salary certification. Our work to ensure gender safeguarding has been acknowledged as industry best practice to prevent and address sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.
But more needs to be done.
The Black Lives Matter movement has triggered an international call for racial equity as individuals and institutions, including those in global health and development, consider how they reinforce unjust power dynamics. Meanwhile, data has shown that COVID-19 has been most devastating in areas of greatest deprivation and has disproportionately affected black and other racial minority communities in wealthy countries.
Tackling these entrenched challenges will require systematic responses informed by data. At an organisation level, we believe our six core values – respect, openness, accountability, innovation, teamwork and country-driven approaches – must be underpinned by the principles of antiracism, social justice, equity, diversity, and intersectionality.
As such, we commit to:
- Foster a just, equitable and diverse culture free from racism and discrimination in which all staff, partners and stakeholders feel empowered, safe and heard.
- Lead by example within the global health sector by fostering a meaningfully representative organisation that builds on the full potential of its diverse staff and upholds the pillars of social justice for global health, while continuously learning and adjusting as it strives towards this vision.
- Challenge and dismantle unequal power structures in our field by:
- Supporting priorities and processes driven by Gavi-eligible countries;
- Working with and through local and regional experts and organisations as well as marginalised and vulnerable communities to strengthen the systems that make access to vaccines more equitable.
To help address these commitments in a meaningful and lasting way, we will take a structured approach embedded in the six R's framework – recruitment, remuneration, recognition and rewards, respect, reporting and reinforcement, as we have done with other areas such as gender and safeguarding. For example, on recruitment, the Secretariat has taken steps toward diversifying our hiring practices and bringing more women into leadership positions. Our senior management team is also equally balanced, in terms of gender and racial diversity. In addition, nearly 60 percent of Gavi staff are women, and we recently succeeded in ensuring there are at least 50 percent women at each level of work and decision making.
Ultimately, a fairer and more inclusive society is our shared responsibility. Just as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic demands global cooperation and individual responsibility, combating inequalities and power imbalances requires each of us to do our part for the greater good. As individuals and institutions, we must build and nurture a culture where inclusiveness is a reflex, not an initiative or after thought.