Gender Sensitivity Workshop


The Gender Sensitivity workshop was designed in response to ICIMOD’s 2012 gender audit, which recommended that more efforts were needed to change the organizational culture from being predominantly ‘male-centric’ to one that is gender sensitive / gender aware  (i.e., equally supportive and friendly to both women and men).  The audit specifically mentioned the need to train staff to use gender-fair language in the workplace, an issue that was also raised during the Director General’s consultation with all women staff in March and April 2013.  Therefore, a series of gender sensitivity workshop has been planned, starting from June 2014 till February 2015. The overall objective of the workshop is to help all ICIMOD staff to communicate more effectively to promote teamwork and reduce misunderstandings. For this to happen, staff members need to become more aware of the diverse opinions, concerns, needs and priorities of their male and female colleagues. A deeper understanding of gender issues will help bring about change in behaviour and practice. The workshop aims to:

  • Raise ICIMOD staff’s awareness of gender and gender issues;
  • Help ICIMOD staff understand existing gender issues and inequalities within the organization;
  • Encourage ICIMOD staff to use gender-fair language in the workplace;
  • Help promote a gender-fair organizational culture at ICIMOD

The first workshop was held on 27 June. Fifteen ICIMOD staff (10 men and 5 women) participated in this pilot workshop. The workshop module was revised and finalized based on their feedback.

The second workshop was held on 23 September 2014 and attended by 20 staff (10 men and 10 women).

The workshop opened with a short lively activity to help participants explore the basis of their individual perceptions of gender roles and stereotypes and how these shape our definitions of appropriate behaviour. This was followed by a session in which participants reflected on gender related ‘labelling’ and other factors that make an organizational culture gender-sensitive. Issues were explored through role-play and discussions. Participants were sensitized on gender-fair language and behaviour, and asked to consider how it can be promoted at ICIMOD. The final session focused on ICIMOD’s organizational culture; participants were asked to reflect on factors supporting or hindering change. At the end of the workshop, participants gave their commitment to making at least three changes in their work practice and attitude in the next three months to promote gender equity.