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

Key Deliverables

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.


Early indications are that retention has improved dramatically and that CGIAR is beginning to influence international organisations to address diversity issues. Farrah has worked in 12 centres across the world with her brief to provide training on the latest thinking in Diversity and Inclusion globally and thereby equip the senior participants with the tools and understanding to be change champions on their return. We are now the preferred supplier for all dignity at work training for CGIAR.


“Thank you for your world-class diversity training services. All these years, it has been a true pleasure and enriching experience to work with Farrah. Your in-depth knowledge and masterful facilitation skills continue to have great impact on our staff.”

Vicki Wilde
Director, Gender & Diversity Program, CGIAR