Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The United Nations Foundation is a strategic partner of the UN, whose founding values recognize the dignity, worth, and human rights as all. The UN Foundation is committed to building diverse, equitable, inclusive communities to deliver on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals — the world’s shared plan to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality, and protect the planet by 2030. We celebrate the diverse voices of the communities we serve and work to build a world that respects and protects the inalienable rights of all.

Explore this page to understand more about our work around diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace and around the world.

The UN Foundation has long held diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values. Our organization was founded to promote the work and purpose of the United Nations on the belief that the United Nations is indispensable to tackling humanity’s greatest challenges and driving global progress. That is even more true today when global challenges like pandemics, climate change, violence, poverty, and inequity demand global solutions that reflect the full diversity of lived experiences, perspectives, and voices. We also know that we will not truly move forward in helping the UN build a better world if some people are left behind.

As we work to promote a better, fairer, and more sustainable world, we are committed to being a workplace that lives up to these values and is an environment where all people are welcomed, empowered, and supported to grow professionally and do their best work. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is not new, but it is deeper than ever as we examine our progress with new insights and a desire always to learn and improve. We see this work as urgent but not time-bound. Rather, it is a continuous commitment that is essential to our mission and our values.

Elizabeth Cousens
President & CEO
United Nations Foundation

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As a strategic partner of the United Nations, whose founding values include the recognition of the dignity, worth, and human rights of all, the United Nations Foundation affirms its commitment to building diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities to deliver on the promises of the Sustainable Development Goals. We celebrate the diverse voices and the dignity of communities we serve and are working to build a world that respects and protects the inalienable rights of all.

We do this by:

Cultivating an inclusive workplace

We actively work to increase diversity, advance equity, and facilitate inclusion in a work environment welcoming to all where everyone feels valued and are empowered to do their best work regardless of age, sex, gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, nationality, origin, religion, sexual orientation, or any other identity. We hold ourselves accountable to challenge our biases and to dismantle racist and discriminatory systems and structures.

Working towards a more equal world

We believe everyone has a part to play, everyone’s voice should be heard, and everyone has a stake in helping the UN fulfill its mission. We address the inequities embedded in our societies by convening and elevating diverse voices, championing progress, communicating across the global community to uplift the historically voiceless, collaborating with partners who share our values, and channeling our resources in the pursuit of more just and cooperative world.

What Diversity Means to Us


UN Foundation has an active Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, made up of staff at all levels of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. The committee’s overarching goal is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among UNF staff, leadership, and partners. Through regular meetings, exchange of knowledge and perspectives, the committee encourages safe and inclusive spaces through its four Affinity Groups: Black, Latinx, Asian & Pacific Islander, and Pride.

Workplace Demographics

Diversity has many different characteristics and attributes as expounded in our organizational diversity statement. We currently measure, and report on three key aspects of diversity: gender, generation, and race/ethnicity. It is a starting point that allows us to present historical alongside current data. We are committed to capturing and to presenting this data to ensure accountability and transparency.

The source of this data is based on survey responses that allow employees to self-identify both gender and race.

3% of respondents did not specify race / ethnicity for 2020; 2% did not specify for 2018 and 2019.

Generational categories are defined as: Gen Z (born 1997 on), Millennial (born 1981-1996), Generation X (born 1965-1980),Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964), Silent Generation (born 1925-1945)

Our Strategy

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is about all, and for all—no exceptions.

We approach our DEI work by considering all aspects of human identity and difference — and intersectionality. This work reflects race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability; it includes but is not limited to social class, formal education level, and organizational level. Our DEI work is built on four key pillars, each with its own goals and targets.


We provide ongoing training at all staff levels to create an inclusive environment for learning, partnership, and growth. Our training programs reflect our deep-rooted commitment to personal and professional development and embedding equity and inclusion in all our work. Whether trainings are legal requirements or for specialized growth, all are designed with a lens on equity.

Community Building

Through intentional partnership between leadership and our DEI Committee, educational resources and learning opportunities are presented to all staff, highlighting intercultural celebrations, national and international events, and social and human rights injustices. Deliberate time and space are designated for inclusive dialogues around these DEI related topics.

Talent Management

We continually assess the employee experience to ensure that all facets of our workplace exemplify our values to promote a better, fairer, more sustainable world and live up to being an environment where all people are welcomed, empowered, and supported to grow professionally while doing their best work.


Reporting & Accountability

DEI is an organizational priority, and we recognize the value of transparency in our reporting as we track our progress. Our progress will be updated here regularly and as we evolve, our data will too.

Work with us

Join our diverse team of global changemakers and contribute to our mission of helping the UN drive global progress.


News and Resources

Explore content, stories, and updates about diversity, equity, and inclusion.