The Impact of WILD Network

Supporting leaders to be even more effective. Helping great companies to be even greater.

How is WILD making a difference?

We undertook a process to understand the tangible outcomes stakeholders experienced as a result of participating in the WILD Network’s activities to date. 

What did we learn?

Our focus on actionable information is supporting organizations around the globe to take new actions that drive gender inclusion.

Read about our impact in our recent publication: Affecting Change: 2018-2020 Outcomes and Our Path Forward.

Gender Equity Framework

WILD uses the four themes of our Gender Equity Framework, published in 2020, to guide our content curation and drive gender equality in the global development space.

Diversity-Enabling Infrastructure and Mechanism

1. Gender Inclusive Recruitment Strategies

Work within the global development sector often involves challenging conditions, such as long hours or significant travel, which can make it difficult for women to see themselves in the role. This causes talented women to refrain from applying to positions for which they are a strong fit, thus reducing the pipeline of female talent and further propagating the gender imbalance within the global development sector.

2. Workplace Affinity Groups

Multiple participants reported that the Women in Global Development Leadership Forum inspired them to either institute or build-out women networks or Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) within their organizations.

In global development organizations, which often have employees located across the globe, it’s difficult for women to connect to share experiences and learn from each others’ best practices. ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups which create an inclusive workplace by bringing people together based on shared characteristics and life experiences. ERGs create leadership opportunities for women and oftentimes serve as a platform to find an executive sponsor or mentor.

3. Informal Networks

Employees from global development organizations are spread across the globe and oftentimes have limited opportunities to share best practices and learn from each other. They express a desire for these informal learning networks, as these connections are valuable in extending knowledge management and skills throughout the organization. Additionally, forming groups around topics of interest can help strengthen relationships between individuals with shared goals and values.

5. Pay Equity and Transparency

Recently, in the global development sector, emphasis on pay equity and pay transparency has increased. Examples of unequal compensation practices have come to light, and employees have started to demand for greater pay equity and transparency within their organizations. However, for global development organizations, institutionalizing pay equity requires a different approach at the country-level based on the country cultures and practices.

Elissa McCarter LaBorde, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Vitas Group

"I was joined at the Forum with one of our women field leaders. One objective we have is to identify how to translate the learnings from WILD conferences and apply them in the field in other countries."

Gender Technical Advisor 

"The Forum made me realize that, before developing any diversity and inclusion tools and products, we needed to take a step back and understand where our organization currently stands in terms of gender equity. Using the information shared at the Forum, I gained buy-in to conduct a gender audit across our entire organization."

Albert Smith Jr., Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Director, Chemonics

"Our employees, in purposeful response to the conference, convened as a group to discuss impressions, exchange learnings, and co-imagine a shared future. The conference was a catalyzing moment for what will become a women’s employee resource group at Chemonics."

Development of Individual Leadership and Power

7. Salary Negotiation

Many participants reported the salary negotiation session to be one of the most valuable parts of the Women in Global Development Leadership Forum. The session highlighted that men are more naturally positioned to be unafraid to ask for the salary they deserve, and provided practical training and tools to support women in having these salary negotiation discussions. The participants stated the session’s tangible content and comprehensive take-home materials as useful resources that could benefit anyone, no matter their age or stage in their careers. 

8. Leadership Without Formal Authority

Many female leaders in global development do not have traditional decision-making positions. Those in middle management or who work independently as subject matter experts often may find themselves in positions where they need to influence without formal authority. 

Many Women in Global Development Leadership Forum participants appreciated the breadth of programming targeting women in middle management positions. Content focused on this career stage is less widely available, and the participants found the sessions on self-empowerment when not in traditional leadership positions to be inspiring.

9. Self-Advocacy

Participants stated that the Women in Global Development Leadership Forum empowered them to be bolder leaders and advocate for themselves in the workplace. The Forum featured multiple sessions about effective communication and building influence, all of which emphasized the importance of self-advocacy and empowerment. Additionally, the Forum itself served as a platform and model for effective self-advocacy. 


Melia Petersen, Project Coordinator, ASU International Development Department

"I leveraged the toolkit provided at the salary negotiation session to advocate for a raise at my next quarterly review, which was granted. "

Frantzie Saint Juste, Senior Project Manager, DAI Global

"The Forum helped me realize that I can make a difference in my own way. By advocating for myself and the issues that are important to me, I can help advocate for others that are like me or for those going through similar challenges, whether they’re issues impacting all women or a subset, such as Black women and women of color. "

Intentional Professional Development Strategies

10. Mentorship

At the Women in Global Development Leadership Forum, multiple speakers discussed the importance of mentorship and sponsorship within their organizations. For many participants, this was a reminder about the importance of seeking out advocates within their organizations. Others were reminded about how they benefited from mentors in the past and were motivated to take on both formal and informal mentorship roles within their organization to pay it forward.

11. Team Work Life Balance 

Many people struggle with the ability to protect their individual boundaries to protect their work life balance. This becomes even more difficult during the COVID-19 crisis. The Women in Global Development Leadership Week online series convened multiple sessions around the topic area: “Leadership in a Time of Crises.” The online series addressed the challenges individuals and organizations have faced in the workplace since starting to work remotely. 


Jen Petersen, Project Manager, Tetra Tech

"The Forum taught me to be more intentional about mentorship and to look for opportunities to help my colleagues grow. I’ve taken on new informal mentees since the Forum."

Sylvia Megret, Chief Operating Officer (COO), ACDI/VOCA

"My colleague institutionalized a “back-up plan” process within her team, which helped create balance between her team’s work and personal lives all while continuing to meet the needs of the organization. "

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