Gender Parity

A commitment to gender balance among UNU personnel

UNU Headquarters Japan

The United Nations University (UNU) is committed to achieving gender parity across all levels and recognizes that gender parity is an essential step towards broader gender equality.

UNU continues to make significant strides, resulting in a marked increase in the number of women in leadership and professional positions at UNU. Between 2015 and 2019*, UNU increased its representation of women at professional levels (P3–D2) considerably, from 21.3% to 52.6%, with notable progress over recent years, which registered an increase of almost 52.5% over 2017 levels.

UNU has appointed a number of women to academic leadership positions, including as institute directors and programme heads, as well as to administrative and management positions.

These achievements contribute positively to the implementation of the UNU Gender Action Plan 2020-2024, the UNU Policy on Gender Equality, and the University’s implementation of the Secretary-General’s System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity.

The gender parity dashboard shows the latest gender balance data of UNU personnel:

Highlights of UNU Actions

To improve gender parity, UNU is:

  • redoubling efforts to attract the best women candidates, including by active headhunting, networking, and advertising through targeted channels
  • improving recruitment processes to reduce unconscious gender bias
  • providing guidance materials to directors and hiring managers on gender-sensitive recruitment
  • making the latest gender personnel statistics available to directors and hiring managers enabling them to monitor their institute’s progress towards gender parity
  • increasing accountability for hiring decisions

Supporting the UN Secretary-General’s System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity

“Gender parity at the UN is an urgent need – and a personal priority. It is a moral duty and operational necessity” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres

UNU fully supports the initiative from the UN Secretary-General to achieve gender parity across the UN System and has aligned its policies with the Secretary-General’s strategy. For more information on the UN Secretary-General’s System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity, visit:

All personnel statistics in this text reflect October data in any calendar year.