This March, EnCompass celebrated embracing equity!
In honor of National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8), we ran a month-long campaign to bring attention to the importance of embracing equity. We featured our staff and their thoughts about equity on our social media channels, published blog posts highlighting our gender and inclusive development work, and organized panels to discuss equity in evaluation.
EnCompass Founder and CEO Tessie Catsambas kicked things off with a video message highlighting how EnCompass—a business founded, owned, and led by women—uses an appreciative, strengths-based approach to map employee development and views equity as a key factor in how we treat our employees. She also discussed how women’s leadership translates to shared and impartial leadership at EnCompass. It is not about having a woman in charge—although many women are—but how we work with each other every day and embrace equity to make decisions, support one another, and move forward together.
On International Women’s Day, we published a blog, written by members of EnCompass’ Gender Team, titled “Breaking the Cycle: EnCompass’ Equity-Based Approach to Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response.” The team shared what EnCompass has learned in our work preventing and responding to gender-based violence, applying an equity lens, appreciating that each person has different circumstances, and allocating the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach equal outcomes.
In Jordan, USAID’s Women’s Economic Empowerment and Leadership Activity (Makanati) and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), an institution that handles the development and management of the city of Aqaba, recognized International Women’s Day by kicking off a series of activities to highlight Aqaba as “a city friendly to women’s work.” Through Makanati, EnCompass is proud to support this unique partnership between the U.S. government and the Jordanian public and private sectors.
On March 21, the EnCompass Learning Center (ELC) held a special panel discussion, “Centering Equity in Our Evaluation Work,” on equity and program evaluation. Moderated by Dr. Ayesha Boyce, the panel featured evaluators from the Aspen Institute, the National Science Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Food Programme (WFP). These experts discussed how their organizations are centering equity in their evaluation work; the role of data and technology in advancing equity; opportunities for strengthening the focus on equity and culturally responsive evaluation practice; and advice for those who are interested in being more mindful of equity in their work.
This month, EnCompass was also proud to support the launch of USAID’s 2023 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy. Our team, implementing the USAID Designing Effective eVidence-Based Engagement and Learning for Organizational Performance (DEVELOP) activity, was honored to support the consultations that informed this policy. We look forward to continuing our work with USAID in designing and delivering its suite of gender integration, gender-based violence prevention and response, and advanced gender and leadership courses.
Finally, the larger EnCompass family contributed to the campaign by sharing how they embrace equity in their personal and professional lives. We invited staff to let us know what #EmbraceEquity means to them, and over the past few weeks, we have promoted these statements on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Throughout March, everyone at EnCompass showed a continuing commitment to the advancement of women around the world. Each one of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence, even through small actions. And collectively, we can drive changes by challenging gender stereotypes, calling out discrimination, drawing attention to bias, and seeking out inclusion. By embracing equity, we can reach equality.
To learn more about our work in Gender and Inclusive Development, please visit our website.