Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators

Gender in Your Organisation

The gender dynamics within your organisation can be incredibly influential, and can affect the types of programs that you run, how you make decisions, and the different experiences that your staff and teams have while at work.


This section discusses how gender can be considered in three areas of your organisation: your board, your team, and your organisational culture.

Creating a More Diverse Board

Diverse gender representation ensures a range of experiences, attitudes, perspectives, skills, and frames of reference are brought to the table. This can make for more thought-provoking discussions, and enable your board to provide you with better support.

If you want to increase the gender diversity of your board, you might want to:

1. Develop an Organisational Code of Conduct outlining what constitutes appropriate versus inappropriate Board Member behaviour.


2. Include the value of diversity and inclusion in the position descriptions and selection criteria for Board Candidates.

Practical Tip

Rotate your Board Chair regularly to allow for people of different genders to hold the position. Consider having two Board Chairpersons who alternate each Board Meeting.

3. Create a Board Matrix to identify where key skills, experience and background gaps are.


4. Use quotas to mandate board composition.

Practical Tip

Ensure that your Board Chair and Agenda invite all members to speak and/or contribute at all Board Meetings.

  • Not everyone will feel equally comfortable acting on a traditional Board.

    You may need to alter the environment or format of your Board Meetings so that people feel more comfortable to contribute.

Creating a More Diverse Team

A team should have the right mix of diversity, skills, abilities, experience, and backgrounds in order to achieve an organisation’s vision, mission, and goals. Power in the form of decision-making and leadership positions should be equally distributed amongst all genders within the organisation in order to achieve the greatest outcomes.

If you want to increase the gender diversity of your team, you might want to:

1. Develop a Gender Diversity Policy for your entire organisation, and make it public to show your commitment to this.


2. Continually and deliberately analyse your team’s composition, including the distribution of gender amongst key decision-makers, and take into account whose voices are being heard in the decision-making process.

Practical Tip

Include a statement of the value of diversity and inclusion in your public and internally facing communications, as well as in your position descriptions when hiring new staff members.

3. Run regular reports that map your organisation and use this information to continually inform you about what changes might need to occur to maintain your goal of gender balance and equality.

You may wish to map:

– Staff numbers

– Gender makeup

– Part-time vs full-time employees

– Salary distribution

Practical Tip

Incorporate blind selection into your recruitment process by hiding names, age, and any other identifying factors when shortlisting candidates in the pre-interview stage of recruitment.

4. Use gender quotas in your internal hiring process.


In some countries, anti-discrimination laws prevent requiring a candidate to be a particular gender. Please refer to your local laws when framing wording.

Creating a More Inclusive Organisational Culture

The culture of your organisation affects every aspect of what you do, from the types of programs you run, to how you talk about your work, to the outside world sees you, to the way your staff see themselves. In order to be truly inclusive of people of different genders, your organisational culture needs to reflect this position.

If you want to foster a culture of inclusivity, you might want to:

1. Publicise your values on all marketing collateral


2. Create contextualised policies around gender diversity, equity and inclusion

Practical Tip

Hold staff trainings on the topics of diversity awareness and recognising unconscious bias to help increase the understanding of all of your staff, not just the managers.

3. Update your existing policies so that they deliberately consider different genders


4. Create a committee or advisory board that has members from all levels of the organisation who can address gender-related matters regularly and report this back to the organisation


Once you commit to being a more gender-inclusive organisation, make sure you are allocating the time and resources required to truly shift the mindset of your staff and the culture of your organisation.

  • Creating a true change in an organisation’s culture takes time and effort.

    Many well-intentioned attempts to strengthen organisational culture fail due to a lack of adequate resources.



How gender can be incorporated into your program design and implementation