DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION
LIVING OUR VALUES
ACDI/VOCA is committed to ensuring a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace for all employees, volunteers, and partners. We know that drawing on perspectives from a wide range of life experiences is the only way to achieve our mission. That’s why diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are woven into our Practice Areas and the programs we implement around the world, and it’s no coincidence they also tie into our Core Values: passion, insight, respect, resilience, impact, and integrity. These are some of the steps we took toward improving DEI within our organization in 2022:
OUR CONTINUING COMMITMENT TO DEI
We are continually examining and adjusting our policies and activities to ensure we are a workplace that is open, accommodating, and continually evolving in our support and inclusion of employees across diverse groups. Year-to-year, benchmark results from annual employee surveys show improvements in our efforts to embed DEI into everything we do.
*Data shows changes from 2017 to 2022, unless noted otherwise
of new hires identified as women
of new hires identified as members of a minority group
IN THE PAST 5 YEARS
THE MANAGEMENT LEVEL:
19.5% increase in number of women at management level
Representation of women in the C suite increased from 25% to 60%
THE PAY GAP:
41% increase in average pay of women
43% increase in average pay of minority group members
6% decrease in pay gap between women and men
12% decrease in pay gap between white and minority group members
IN THE PAST 5 YEARS
Increased our annual minority hiring by 12% since 2015
Averaged 60% women hires annually
Averaged 51% minority hires annually
In 2022, we reviewed the average salary and compensation of our employees through a DEI lens. Through this process, which included a market assessment of our positions, we reviewed all job groups and made adjustments to eliminate gender- and race-based gaps and ensure we continue to offer fair, market-conscious, role-specific compensation across all positions.
INCREASED STAFF SUPPORT
Also, in 2022, after seeing the impact of the pandemic on our staff who are caregivers for family members, we enacted an emergency backup care reimbursement policy that covers costs incurred by employees in response to emergency or unexpected care for dependents. This benefit is now available to all staff and covers a wide range of caregiving situations.
INCLUSIVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Through a partnership with the Women Innovators & Leaders (WILD) Network, we had the opportunity for 30 of our employees—including 24 women and six men from eight countries— to receive leadership coaching. This professional development program helped our employees build skills in relationship management, better self-awareness of personal biases, and more.
INCREASED DIVERSITY IN PROGRAM LEADERSHIP AND RECRUITMENT
In 2022, our international recruitment team analyzed the gender and diversity distribution of the critical personnel presented when responding to proposals for new programs. As a result, we launched a new methodology to ensure we present a diverse pool of both international and local talent for each proposal. This includes setting measurable, country-specific diversity goals for recruitment and using a gender decoder, an online tool that scans job announcements for subtle linguistic gender coding or biased wording to help create more gender-neutral job announcements. We also restructured our interview process to include consistent panels of interviewers and standardized interview feedback forms. As a result, the presentation of female leadership in proposals increased by 3 percent.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
In 2022, Sylvia J. Megret was named the first female President & CEO at ACDI/VOCA. We are proud to have an executive team made up of 60 percent women as well as executives from the Global South leading two of our affiliates. In March 2022, Carolina Blackburn was named Executive Director of Fundación ACDI/VOCA Latin America (FAVLA), and, in November 2022, Sergio Rivas was named CEO of Tanager.
> (View this 2022 FAVLA report on how it is supporting the SDGs related to gender equality and reducing inequality.)
AdVocate, an employee resource group made up of diverse staff committed to advancing the goals of DEI at ACDI/VOCA, provided recommendations to senior leadership, and continued to raise awareness across the organization. In 2022, AdVocate supported our Human Resources department to strengthen our DEI lens when recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new employees. They also developed a small group discussion program for staff interested in learning about DEI topics to build capacity and awareness and increase understanding, application, and support of DEI across teams and departments.
Also, in 2022, ACDI/VOCA Proud, an employee resource group for the LGBTQI+ community and their allies and advocates, was launched. The group provides a safe forum for resource sharing, discussion, collaboration, and community building around support and inclusion of people, of all sexual orientations, gender identities, expressions, and characteristics.
AND ACROSS THE INDUSTRY
ACDI/VOCA is not only making DEI part of our DNA, but also championing DEI across the industry. In early 2022, ACDI/VOCA and our affiliate Tanager signed The Pledge for Racial and Ethnic Equity in Development, as first endorsers and members of the Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Equity in Development (CREED). CEO Sylvia J. Megret and Jenn Williamson, Vice President, Gender and Social Inclusion, serve on the CREED Board Executive Committee.
In 2022, we also signed the UN Global Compact and stepped up our active commitment to this corporate responsibility initiative and its principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption.
ACDI/VOCA has been leading DEI efforts through our longstanding equity and inclusion practice area for years. Our Gender, Youth, and Social Inclusion (GYSI) team promotes DEI work within our programs around the world as well as through a Community of Practice, where we share lessons learned and resources while also creating a space for networking and professional development among global staff interested in equity and inclusion.
In 2022, the GYSI team revised and re-launched our organizational introduction to gender, equity, and social inclusion (GESI) training—a participatory, live training required of all new staff—with deepened attention to systemic and intersectional inequalities and explicit discussions of gender and racial equality. We also launched Spanish and French translated versions of our online “Introduction to Gender Concepts and Approaches” and GESI Policy trainings, increasing their accessibility to our global staff.
Further, in 2022 we published our first organizational-level Disability Inclusion Guidance, which provides resources for global staff to not only promote greater inclusion of people with disabilities in our program activities and outcomes, but also to increase inclusion and accessibility within our offices and workspaces.