IAEA Board of Governors: 15 June 2017
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative to the IAEA
Agenda Item: AOB: Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear.
On behalf of Costa Rica, France, Ireland, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, Australia as nominated co-chair is pleased to announce the formation of a new group titled the “Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear”, and to acknowledge Mexico as our fellow co-chair.
This Group’s main goal is to increase the representation of women in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Secretariat through consideration of practical initiatives that can shape practices including in recruitment and organisational culture in favour of gender equality including at senior management levels.
The Group will establish a regular channel of communication with the Agency on questions of gender and the representation of women at all levels and in all functions of the Agency’s operations.
It will support the IAEA in identifying barriers to the recruitment and advancement of women and work with the Agency in looking to address these.
Members of the Group also commit themselves:
- To improving gender equity in their own delegations to IAEA meetings;
- To working with their domestic industries and within their governments to increase the number of women available for recruitment to the IAEA;
- And to sharing best practice on policy and practical initiatives.
The Group will complement other initiatives also aimed at raising awareness about, and realising gender parity - including the welcome establishment this week of the Vienna chapter of the International Gender Champions Initiative.
As it currently stands in the Agency, the percentage of women among Regular staff in the Professional and higher categories is 29.4%. This number has shown a steady increase since 2009, when women made up just 23.4% of Regular staff in these categories. But more can be done.
Improving the representation of women in the IAEA will improve the Agency’s operations. We know this because studies have shown that organisations of all kinds improve their efficiency and effectiveness as they approach gender parity in employment.
So attaining gender parity is not only the right thing to do - to ensure that men and women have an equal opportunity to establish and advance careers in nuclear – it is also the intelligent thing to do to improve the Agency’s performance.
We in the Group believe women and men should have the opportunity to thrive equally, and have an equal opportunity to participate and progress professionally in line with their talent, and aspirations.
We hope that other Member States will share our goals, both on grounds of effectiveness of the IAEA and on grounds of equity and justice.
We would welcome the participation and engagement of any Member State, and I would like today to invite other delegations to join the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear.
Thank you, Chair.