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Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

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    Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at MSI

    At MSI, we’re committed to an inclusive culture, where every team member can thrive and feel valued and where all clients feel welcome and supported.

    Our organisational strategy — MSI 2030 — sets out our formal commitment to DEI, and we have a specific Commitment to Gender Equality.

    MSI’s Board is also committed to reflecting as many varied perspectives and experiences as possible, and this is supported by our Board Diversity Policy

    To help bring our DEI goals to life and hold ourselves accountable, we formed a global DEI panel in 2021. Made up of a diverse group representing every region we work in, the panel is a brilliant driving force helping MSI become a truly inclusive and equitable organisation. As a start, the panel facilitated discussions with over 80 team members from more than 15 different countries, and insights from those conversations helped form our first three-year Global Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy (2022-2025)

    The next and most important step is using the strategy to take meaningful action. MSI leaders from the 36 countries where we work have translated our global strategic DEI priorities into local and context-specific actions to ensure that diversity, equality and inclusion are woven into the fabric of our organisation. We’ll be monitoring progress over the next three years to ensure we’re on track to meet our DEI ambition. 

    Defining DEI

    A workforce that is representative of people from different backgrounds and communities, and with a variety of personal characteristics.

    Using equitable approaches to have a workplace in which every individual has equal access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.

    Having a workplace in which everyone, regardless of individual differences, feels able to participate and contribute meaningfully.

    “As a black, female entrepreneur from Mali, the impact of diversity, equality and inclusion work is far from an abstract concept to me. In my mind, MSI’s work in this space is absolutely essential.

    It is deeply important that MSI works to ensure that the inclusive work it does externally mirrors a radically inclusive and progressive internal culture. DEI cannot just be something that you talk about. I know that a positive, inclusive culture will translate into even more effective service delivery for women and girls around the world.”

    – Myriam Sidibe, Board Member and DEI Sponsor

    6 priorities for diversity, equality & inclusion

    A Clear Vision

    Diversity, equality and inclusion have different meanings and applications across the various countries and cultures where we operate. We’ll therefore clearly communicate what we mean by DEI, its relevance to MSI, and what we want to achieve through implementing the DEI strategy.


    Our leadership and management is committed to accountability and to building organisational knowledge on equity and inclusive behaviours. We’ll ensure every MSI team member is aware of their own role in supporting DEI.

    Talent Pipeline

    Developing and retaining talent is fundamental to grow individual potential, build our talent pipeline and meet MSI’s needs. We’ll open up development opportunities for team members to improve accessibility and create a more level playing field.

    Strategic Communications

    We’ll use strategic communication to bring clarity and visibility to DEI. Key to this is establishing inclusive and mindful communication practices that encourage inclusive behaviours in the workplace.

    A Culture of Inclusion

    We want to create the conditions for more open communication, feedback, and productive meetings, and will do this by empowering our team members to speak up and share their perspectives. We’re building a working environment where everyone feels valued, fairly treated and empowered to contribute meaningfully.

    Gender Equality & Social Inclusion

    We’ll take a specific focus on gender equality and social inclusion focusing on our programming, the clients and communities we serve.

    Catherine Harry, Communications Specialist, MSI Cambodia

    Being country led is in our DNA. Since the beginning, MSI has been dedicated to establishing locally led and staffed country programmes. Our Global Support Office is here to support — not lead—local programmes.

    “A thriving organisation listens to everyone’s voices, particularly at a client-centred organisation like MSI. We can have blind spots in the services we deliver if we aren’t taking everyone’s voices into account.”

    – Catherine Harry, Communications Specialist, MSI Cambodia

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    A snapshot of key DEI metrics

    Global metrics help us keep on track and keep us accountable. In the next three years we commit to:

    • All countries having local DEI action plans in place 
    • Women making up at least 50% of senior leadership teams
    • The ‘Women in Leadership Programme‘ running in at least half of MSI countries 
    • At least 80% of countries undertaking salary benchmarking every two years to support an equitable approach to remuneration
    • All countries led by national or regional team members
    • All programmes and support offices having local succession plans

    More on diversity, equality & inclusion

    Bringing DEI to life through resources and stories

    Women in MSI Ladies top holds files

    Our DEI strategy

    Our DEI strategy is intended to provide a framework to support every MSI country as they embark on their own journey to support diversity, equality and inclusion.

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    A woman’s journey to leadership at MSI

    Pester Siraha, Country Director of MSI Zimbabwe, writes about her career and journey into a leadership position at MSI.

    Inside MSI A Conversation on All Things Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion

    Q&A on DEI

    Inonge Wina Chinyama and Catherine Harry talk about their passion for DEI, and their experiences of being on the Global DEI Panel.

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    Commitment to Gender Equality

    Gender equality is a universal human right. We aspire to a gender transformative approach at every level of our operations.