Making women count in Vienna

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Originally published on UN iSeek

Katja Perhman. Photo: UN Office at Vienna
Katja Perhman. Photo: UN Office at Vienna

On 11 April, new Enabling Environment Guidelines were launched, as part of efforts to create a working environment in the UN Office at Vienna that embraces equality, eradicates bias and is inclusive of all staff.

The guidelines were presented to Member States and staff at an event organized by the Human Resources Management Service at the UN Office at Vienna (UNOV) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the Gender Team in the Office of the Director-General/Executive Director and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with the support of UN Women.

“Our Gender Strategy’s institutional framework and standard-setting dimension is strengthened by the fact that it commits all staff to tackle gender-based discrimination and harassment,” said Giovanni Gallo, Senior Legal Officer, speaking on behalf of the Director-General of UNOV.

“Its goal is to enable all staff to build and promote a positive workplace culture. It mobilizes us to work together towards its ambitious targets,” she said.

Managing Director of Corporate Management and Operations at UNIDO, Fatou Haidara, spoke about their efforts to promote an inclusive workplace. Katja Perhman, Senior Advisor at UN Women, talked about how the guidelines are linked to the Secretary-General’s System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity.

“All recommendations of the guidelines serve to take steps towards fostering a safe and supportive workplace in which employees are respected and have equal opportunities, while balancing personal and professional commitments,” said Ms. Perhman.

Deborah Ernst, UNOV/UNODC Chief of Human Resources, and Konstantin Ivanov, UNIDO Director of the Department of Human Resources Management, outlined measures to foster an inclusive organizational culture that have already been implemented.

During the panel discussion, participants talked about the concrete implementation of the guidelines as well as opportunities within the different organizations to improve. The need to pay attention to field offices was emphasized.

When the floor was opened for questions and comments, delegations expressed their support, thanked UN Women for issuing the guidelines, and recognized the on-going efforts of UNOV/UNODC and UNIDO.

“It’s not only counting women, but making women count,” concluded the delegate from Switzerland.