The quota scheme at International organizations - When 5 Ants became more than 4 Elephants


What you will learn:

  • In this white-paper, we relate to current quota scheme and ask what is most... five ants or four elephants?
  • We describe today's quota scheme and bring light to the organizational prioritization conflict between gender parity and geographic priorities;
  • We highlight risks in taking shortcuts to fulfill both the gender and geographic objectives and elaborate on the internal culture clash such shortcuts may create.


In this white-paper, we look closer at the potential conflict between gender objectives and geographic objectives. With the Gender Parity strategy, the U.N. has two tangible diversity objectives. In this paper, we identify a potential division of the U.N. member states into two groups, one including countries that are empowering and promoting women career and one that is not.

We then raise warning flags that there could be significant risks that organizations take an easy way out to achieve both objectives in one go. To achieve gender parity organizations will recruit women from countries with a tradition of promoting women’s career and to achieve geographic diversity organizations will recruit men from countries not having a culture of promoting women career. As a result, an unhealthy internal culture will be created at these organizations, that will impact both delivery and the long-term equality goal.

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