Gender specialists around the world are called upon to work with policy makers, governments, media, non-profit organizations, and businesses on a range of activities from gender mainstreaming, inclusion and integration to program design, research and evaluation, workplace diversity and inclusion, LGBTQI+ advocacy, gender-sensitive budgeting or policy analysis, and organizational auditing, and more. If you are applying an intersectional gender lens in your work or activism, The Society of Gender Professionals (SGP) is meant to be a community for you.
A number of professional organizations exist in many technical sectors serving gender specialists’ work, and many of these include subsets that focus on gender or feminist praxis. Yet SGP is the only cross-cutting association that currently exists to professionalize the gender field and meet the needs of a growing group of gender specialists across sectors and around the world.
The Society of Gender Professionals is a non-profit membership network of gender practitioners, academics, and activists dedicated to promoting feminist action and applied research, and raising the profile of gender expertise.
We strive to:
SGP’s vision is to be a global, cross-sectoral association of gender specialists, where members are empowered with the resources and networks they need to thrive in their careers and advance gender justice in their communities.
Researchers and academics who work on issues related to gender justice and equality often operate in silos; there is limited coordination and information-sharing between different fields of study. SGP welcomes academics from all fields, from political science and economics to anthropology, sociology, and women’s studies, to share their expertise, collaborate, and contribute to a nuanced understanding of gender norms worldwide.
By taking action to promote gender justice and confront inequalities, we are all activists in our own right. With SGP, those who advocate for more just and equitable laws and policies, respect for human rights, and the dignity of our most underserved communities can share information, ideas, strategies, and experiences with other members to find ways to make our activist efforts more effective.
Gender advisors, consultants, project managers, applied researchers, policy analysts, aid workers, and others who work on the frontlines of programs dealing with gender norms have a deep understanding of the challenges involved in promoting gender justice and institutionalizing more equal gender norms. Practitioners often work independently or may be the only source of gender expertise in their organizations. SGP practitioners offer different perspectives, experiences, and skill sets.
The need for gender expertise has grown exponentially since the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995. That year, the world reaffirmed the urgent need to protect the human rights of women and governments committed to systematically address gender inequalities in their societies through gender mainstreaming and gender integration. Since then, Gender Specialists have been recruited by governments, companies, and nonprofit organizations to help formulate policies, design programs, evaluate activities, train, teach, and mentor.
As the field of gender expertise grows, so does our need to formalize, organize, and standardize the profession. No professional associations currently exist for individuals whose careers revolve around gender-related research and practice. As new Gender Specialists enter the field, they often lack resources, networks, mentors, training, frameworks, and access to research, as well an intergenerational understanding of gender expertise.
The SGP Bylaws were drafted and approved in 2018 and 2019, when SGP was initially registered. As an intersectional feminist organization, every effort is made to promote decentralized and non-hierarchical ways working, but SGP does have to meet basic regulatory and legal requirements in order to be able to function.
One of these requirements is the basic set of rules (“SGP Bylaws”) that we use to promote accountable, transparent and responsible governance, oversight and strategic co-leadership. We welcome any comments or feedback that members may have regarding the bylaws. Please submit public comments or feedback using the comment box below or send us a private email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more in the full SGP Bylaws
SGP is proud to publish its first Professional Development Policy, which outlines eligibility criteria for the distribution of professional development funds to members in need of financial support. The Policy will go into effect beginning 1 November 2022.
Per the Racial Justice Task Force report 2021, certain identities are prioritized for funding, including Black-identifying or racialized people (generally termed Black, Indigenous, & People of Color (BIPOC) or Black & Minority Ethnicities (BAME)) and others who have been harmed by colonization and oppression based on their identity and social location. Under the policy, financial support is offered up to a certain threshold to eligible members of the SGP community to pursue professional development that helps advance intersectional gender justice which could include opportunities such as webinars, conferences, training, workshops, courses, certifications, professional association memberships, journal subscriptions, or purchase of materials such as books or software, etc. Funding is contingent upon integrating the knowledge learned back into SGP’s membership and/or leadership through the recipient’s preferred activity.
For details regarding eligibility, financial logistics, the request process, and definitions, please read the full SGP Professional Development Policy.
Kristy Kelly is a sociologist specializing in gender and development, policy and politics, transnational feminisms, gender mainstreaming, and social change in Southeast Asia. She is currently assistant clinical professor of global and international education at Drexel University and Associate Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. Kristy teaches courses on gender mainstreaming, education diplomacy, gender and development in Southeast Asia and qualitative research methods. She has published on gender and education leadership, gender mainstreaming policy, gender and corruption, and post-socialist transition in Vietnam. She also consults and advises on gender and development issues for multilateral and humanitarian aid organizations such as UNESCO, The Asia Foundation, and Transparency International in Asia and Africa. Kristy serves as an Expert Advisor on Gender Mainstreaming to the United Nations, and is a Fulbright Core Specialist on Gender Equality. She received her BA from Pennsylvania State University, and MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.