Case Studies


CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future.

Global Diversity Practice have partnered with CGIAR for a number of years to overcome the challenges of diversity within the organisation and provide Diversity and Inclusion solutions across 15 centres in over 10 countries. CGIAR commissioned GDP for the following:

  • Building the capacity and competence of CGIAR diversity contacts globally
  • Designing and delivering dignity at work, training for dignity advisors
  • Provision of toolkits on virtual working and cross cultural collaboration
  • Design and delivery of gender diversity and unconscious bias training

Some of the diversity challenges that were restricting progress and affecting retention, recruitment, progression and the general well-being of the institute were:

  • Lack of buy in for diversity as a value-end business benefit.
  • Diversity seen as a minor HR issue.
  • Diversity seen as low in the list of priorities in the scientific community (nationally).
  • Lack of retention of senior women.
  • Tension between British expatriate staff and locally based staff.

Gender & Diversity Program + Dignity at Work


The CGIAR Gender and Diversity Programme – This programme provided corporate support to the ‘Future Harvest’ – an organisational culture of inclusion, dignity, and opportunity. The total number of employees working for CGIAR includes 8,000 scientists, technicians and managers, working in 16 international agricultural research centres around the world. GDP have continuously worked alongside CGIAR for a number of years to provide learning and consultancy solution.

Looking Forward E-Conference – Farrah Qureshi took part as the diversity expert in the conference. This was an important participatory step in strategic planning for gender and diversity work in CGIAR for the next four years. The E-conference brought together 146 CGIAR staff members from across the world: 68% female and 32% male.

Inclusion and Diversity Strategy Workshop Sri Lanka – This workshop brought together gender ‘ambassadors’ from all 16 Future Harvest Centres with a world-class panel of diversity experts to focus on sharing positive, practical tools and methods for diversity work. Farrah chaired the event and also facilitated all the training delivery over the five days as well as presenting a session on Global Best Practice on Diversity and inclusion.

  • Farrah and her team have designed and delivered a series of toolkits titled “Everyday methods in Diversity” including Collaborating across Cultures and Managing Virtual Teams.
  • Farrah participated in and delivered keynote sessions on Work Life Balance and Dignity at Work to global HRDs.
  • This session led to the development of a global policy and network of Dignity advisors.
  • We have delivered training to hundreds of CGIAR colleagues and developed a robust dignity at work network. The Dignity at Work Awareness training for CGIAR has been delivered to global audiences in Indonesia, India, Nepal, Italy, Philippines and Mexico.


The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. Headquartered in the Philippines and with offices in 17 countries, IRRI is a global, independent, non-profit research and training institute supported by public and private donors.

Following the successful delivery for CGIAR spanning over 14 years, IRRI commissioned GDP in 2013 to delivery training to their senior scientists on managerial, practical and operational Gender and Diversity knowledge. The Gender & Diversity training focused on key activities in recruitment, support for career growth and development opportunities within IRRI.

GDP bid for the proposal based on the knowledge and their extensive experience with working in science based organisations and international organisations such as The World Bank. The proposal promised to deliver a customised and relevant solution, based on both the sensitivity and seniority of the target audiences, which aimed to increase the representation of female scientists and develop an international mind-set.


After successfully winning the bid, GDP were commissioned to delivery G&D training to IRRI’s Senior Scientists in Bangladesh and India.

The Senior Scientists were asked to take part in a Cross Cultural Questionnaire, in collaboration with The World Bank. The results were used to help design the training and ensuring that the delivery was more personal to the Scientists. The test helped to establish the scientists’ thinking on Gender and Diversity and their cultural profile.

GDP had also conducted 1-2-1 interviews with key stakeholders and Scientists to establish the current culture in IRRI and gain their knowledge on their expectations from the training.

The course was held over a total of three days. The solution was based around the award winning GDP “Open Minds” training delivery and G&D Training and included the following:

  • IRRI G&D Strategy Values and Mission
  • Unconscious BIAS Cross Cultural
  • Gender Awareness – Micro-Inequities
  • Inclusive Leadership

GDP delivered the three day training course in Bangladesh and India in September 2014, which also included an Action Planning Session with the G&D Committee Group. The first two days of delivery were aimed at educating the Scientists on the G&D issues in the current workplace and then training them on tip and techniques on how to be more diverse and the benefits it has on their workplace and their own personal lifes. The G&D committee steering group session, which was delivered on the third day, was designed to engage the participants to discuss G&D and to ensure there was a dedicated team in each location that were equipped with the necessary knowledge to relay the message of G&D within their offices.


Our recent D&I consultancy and coaching in 2013 has led to the formation of regional diversity task forces which are already driving progress on the gender and diversity action plan for IRRI with a renewed focus and more importantly ownership from the scientific community of these agendas and commitment to action.

The delivery in both Bangladesh and India was a great success, with great participation and feedback. Participants felt more positive and knowledgeable to relay the message of G&D to their colleagues and into the business.

The diverse range of scientists who attended the course developed their own personal maps for the future to identify the key ideas on G&D, which are now being actioned. As a result the course has had a positive impact on the business, as the representation of female scientists has increased and engagement results are improving.

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