December 2017 – WAN-IFRA is an association for the news media worldwide, representing an industry that has its own diversity issues. With its Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion, WAN-IFRA recognizes that implementing a coherent organization-wide strategy to promote gender diversity is both a normative and business imperative. The 3-year Gender Diversity Strategy supported by the WAN-IFRA Board seeks to address the gender imbalance in our operations and governance bodies.
WAN-IFRA is a leading platform for its members and the broader industry to seek and share knowledge, expertise, and inspiration. Annually, more than 10,000 media executives engage with our programmes, content, events, training and education platforms. As such, WAN-IFRA members expect the best from the association – this includes speakers at events, trainers, contributors for content and more. We will vow to continue that top-quality service, while also proactively promoting and embracing progressive practices that strengthen our own organisation and drives positive change within the industry. Establishing gender diversity targets across all of our activities is a big step forward for our organisation representing 60 national press representative bodies and more than 18,000 publications worldwide.
As a first step in the development of its Gender Strategy, we conducted a baseline audit in five identified priority areas: governance, organisation, conferences, content strategy, and consulting. The results of this audit have been used to establish a baseline for WAN-IFRA, and to benchmark progress toward its gender diversity goals thereafter.
The Gender Diversity Strategy is supported by an Action Plan setting short and mid-term targets for the composition of the Presidency, the Board, the Executive Committee, and the staffing of WAN-IFRA.
SCOPE OF THE STRATEGY
WAN-IFRA commits to taking firm steps to close the gender gap within its operations (conferences, content, consulting) and organisation by 2020. It will also put in place all possible efforts to promote greater gender balance in its governance structures, notably the Board, the Executive Committee, and, Presidency.
The strategy includes measures to address the gender imbalance within WAN-IFRA’s governance structures, with the understanding that WAN-IFRA is limited to making non-binding recommendations relating to governance.
By 2020 WAN-IFRA aims to achieve the following amongst its governing bodies:
- 1 out of 5 members of the Presidency (20%) held by a woman with the possibility to have the First Vice Presidency or Vice Presidency held by a woman by 2022
- 30% of WAN-IFRA Board made up of women (21% increase in the number of women Board members; 7% annual increase)
- 30% of WAN-IFRA Executive Committee made up of women (24% increase; 8% increase year over year)
WAN-IFRA is committed to work toward reaching gender parity within our management structures, in the full respect of the rights of the existing employees. Realizing this is not always in our control regarding employment churn, WAN-IFRA will endeavor to reach these goals in all areas we can directly influence.
- By 2020 women shall represent 50% of WAN-IFRA senior management (Director, Executive Director level) positions for an overall increase of 14% over a 3-year period. Of these positions, 80% shall be full-time, salaried positions
CONFERENCES, CONTENT, CONSULTING & TRAINING
CONFERENCES By 2020 WAN-IFRA will achieve 50/50 gender balance across its conference portfolio, signaling a 30% average increase in the number of female panelists or keynotes per event.
CONTENT By 2020 WAN-IFRA will achieve 50/50 gender balance across all conduct production, including but not exclusive to the following areas: 50/50 gender balance of contributors to blogs, reports and case studies, 50/50 gender balance of expert sources or contributors to reports , 50/50 gender balance in interview subjects, Adoption of gender-neutral language and terms across all platforms
CONSULTING By 2020 WAN-IFRA will aim to achieve 50/50 gender balance in the composition of experts and consultants contributing to WAN-IFRA advisory projects and training programmes.
The Gender Diversity Strategy is supported by an Action Plan including setting targets for the composition of the Presidency, the Board, the Executive Committee, and the staffing of WAN-IFRA.
PRESIDENCY WAN-IFRA targets 1 out of 5 members of the Presidency (20%) to be held by a woman by 2020 with an aim to have the Vice Presidency or Presidency held by a woman by 2022. The Board will appoint a nominating committee composed of two men and two women reporting to the President and the CEO to identify a shortlist of candidates. The Nominating committee to propose one or more candidates to the Board for presentation for voting at the General Assembly of Members to be held in in Lisbon in June 2018.
BOARD 30% of WAN-IFRA Board shall be made up of women by 2020 (21% increase in number of women Board members; 7% increase year-over-year). In June 2018 expiring mandates should be replaced by a minimum of 50% female board members. This should occur each time a board mandate expires. Association directors shall advocate internally to promote the appoint/election of a female candidate to sit on the WAN-IFRA Board; retiring Board members shall endorse or sponsor a female successor as part of the nomination process.
Every year in November and finally in June 2020 WAN-IFRA will conduct a follow-up assessment of Board composition. If the 30% target has not yet been reached by June 2020, the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group will be authorized to select sufficient number of female delegates to attend all board meetings supplement this deficiency.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 30% of WAN-IFRA Executive Committee shall be made up of women by 2020 (24% increase; 8% increase year over year). By June 2018 more than ten delegates will have to be put forward as candidates for Executive Committee seats. Half of the delegates put forward should be women so there is 50/50 balance in the overall number of new EC members elected. This balance shall be respected in all future appointments of future candidates.
ORGANISATION The new practices outlined in the strategic plan will be applied to all staff decisions taken after December 2017, and will not affect the position of existing employees.