Our People and Culture

At CGIAR, we actively seek to create and sustain workplaces that are inclusive and enabling. We believe that diversity enriches the quality of our decision-making, deepens the relevance of our advice and outputs, and enhances our efficiency and effectiveness. Treating everyone with dignity and fairness is at the core of our values.

CGIAR’s Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) Function supports the implementation of our first GDI Action Plan (2020-2021). In 2022, a new Action Plan was prepared for 2023-2024, which was launched in May 2023.

Explore below some of the highlights of 2022.

Inaugural Inclusive Workplace Awards

In early June 2022, a call for nominations went out across CGIAR for the inaugural Inclusive Role Model, Inclusive Leader, and Inclusive Team Awards, each with clearly stated selection criteria. When the nomination period closed in July 2022, more than 150 staff had submitted nominations – indicating the value of CGIAR’s collective work towards creating ever more inclusive workplaces.

Hundreds of staff from Peru to Penang came together to celebrate the winners in a virtual awards ceremony in September 2022. CGIAR’s “GDI Oscars” recognized the stars who demonstrated their personal commitment to advancing gender, equity and inclusion in our workplaces.

Two Year Progress Report Shows Delivery of GDI Action Plan

In September 2022, the GDI Two Year Progress Report was published, showing that CGIAR made progress on 101 of 108 targets set forth in its GDI Action Plan, making more progress towards gender parity in the two-year period (2020-2021) covered by the Plan than in the whole decade prior.

In its approach to GDI, the People & Culture function looked at evidence-based research, spoke to experts and a broad range of stakeholders, and concluded that to make a real difference, CGIAR couldn’t be traditional and focus on a few select areas. The organization had to innovate, take a holistic approach, and set targets across all elements of the employee life cycle.

CGIAR built capacity through events, training, toolkits and materials created for easy adaptation to local contexts. A GDI Network was established; members completed an eight-month long bespoke training program and continuously advocated and cascaded ideas and feedback on what worked and what didn’t. CGIAR established a GDI Knowledge Hub offering e-Learning, guidance notes, and a wealth of other resources to staff.

CGIAR Scoops CDR Award

CGIAR took top prize in the “Diversity and Inclusion” category at the 2022 Career Development Roundtable (CDR) Awards. The prestigious award is given by one of the leading professional communities of senior HR specialists in the global multilateral sector.

After being shortlisted from among 11 strong submissions for an application encapsulating our journey to advance gender equity, diversity and inclusion in CGIAR’s workplaces, CGIAR saw off tough competition from the other two finalists, FAO (the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations) and EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office), capturing over 50% of the votes from CDR members at the awards ceremony on December 12, 2022.

Claudia Sadoff, CGIAR’s Executive Managing Director, commented on the award: “While changing corporate culture can be challenging, our People and Culture team and GDI champions around the world have shown that with perseverance and professionalism it is possible for ways of working to evolve and for mindsets to shift. We are very proud of their work and of this award, which recognizes the tremendous progress we have made towards creating a workplace that is diverse, inclusive, respectful and full of opportunity for all our people.”

Our people delivering the One CGIAR strategy and structure

The year 2022 brought important and keenly anticipated news: the initial set of Phase 3 and 4 appointees to our One CGIAR integrated operational structure.

From the outset of the process to appoint these key positions, CGIAR was committed to an inclusive and transparent approach, focused on our internal talent pool. The inclusivity of the process yielded positive results for gender and other diversity dimensions.

Of the 30 appointments announced in 2022:

  • 14 (47%) were female and 16 (53%) male, putting us above our target of 40% female in professional roles;
  • 19 appointees (63%) were from the Global South and 11 (37%) from the Global North;
  • Nine Centers/Alliance were represented;
  • Of the 72 roles posted over the time period, only 10 were advertised externally, highlighting the wealth of talent across CGIAR.

We recognize the hard work of the People & Culture team members who progressed these appointments.

Progressing Integration and Shared Ways of Working

Across CGIAR, over 3,300 roles are engaged in the portfolio of Research Initiatives, helping deliver innovative solutions across 5 impact areas aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Initiatives are powered by collaboration and integration, principles that guided the People & Culture teams engaged in the Initiatives staffing process: in 2022, 100% of Initiatives brought together CGIAR scientists from at least three Centers.

“Our Initiatives are far more integrated than ever before with 94% of Initiatives bringing together CGIAR scientists from at least four Centers. Enabled by this more integrated way of working, the portfolio is breaking ground in areas from vegetables to conflict and fragility, from urban agriculture to the circular economy,” said EMD Claudia Sadoff.