Our commitment to gender equality

At Hand in Hand, we believe women are the key to beating poverty. With over 20 years’ experience supporting women entrepreneurs, we know that when women can participate in the economy as equals, everyone benefits.

In the communities Hand in Hand operates within, fewer than 40% of women have the power to make decisions for themselves. Currently, we won’t reach gender equality before 2108, three generations later than hoped.

Our 20 years’ experience working with women entrepreneurs gives Hand in Hand a unique understanding of the barriers women face. We know we cannot beat poverty if half the world is left behind.

Our commitment

Women entrepreneurs are our clients; we facilitate the skills and tools they see as essential to achieving business success.

As a minimum, we are committed to ensuring all our programmes are gender sensitive. However, Hand in Hand’s ultimate aim is for as many of our programmes as possible to be gender transformative.

Gender sensitive programmes meet the day-to-day needs of the women we support. We take into consideration the specific barriers faced by women entrepreneurs, and ensure that we address these in our programming (for example, scheduling training sessions so they fit in with women’s childcare commitments).

Gender transformative programming goes one step further by actively working to change the gender norms and power imbalances that contribute to gender inequality.

As part of gender transformative programming we work with women, men and communities to challenge beliefs and behaviours that restrict the lives of women – and prevent them from fulfilling their potential as entrepreneurs.

By taking this approach we promote women’s empowerment at the deepest level by challenging inequalities such as access to markets, land rights, decision making power, and equitable distribution of household tasks. Find out more about our gender transformative work here.

Our governance

Hand in Hand’s board is 42 percent female, and our Senior Leadership Team is 100 percent female, and led by a woman CEO.

Our culture

At Hand in Hand we work to create an inclusive workplace, where everyone, regardless of their gender has the same opportunity to contribute and develop in their careers.

Our family-friendly workplace policies ensure women and men can balance their work with personal responsibilities, without missing out on opportunities for career progression.

Staff and trustees receive regular training in diversity and inclusion and addressing unconscious bias.