Preliminary Findings

The case study is organized in multiple waves of six months duration each. During the six months the participants are paired into pre-determined study groups of four to five members who actively apply for professional level vacancies at the UN. Each group is supported  by a Volunteer Coordinator who facilitates a bi-weekly Accountability Buddy Group online meeting. Data is collected from multiple online questionnaires throughout the six months.

The first wave launched in May 2017 included 64 women applicants recruited via social media – 21 engaged and completed the wave. The wave consisted of five study groups: 

  1. Women who are applying for the first time at the UN with 2 years plus experience; 
  2. Women who previously applied to the UN with 2 years plus experience;
  3. Women who previously applied at the UN with 5 years plus experience; 
  4. Women who have international organization experience with 7 years plus experience;
  5. Women who previously interned at the UN.

Summary of Preliminary Findings

  • Lack of Networks and Contacts are the primary obstacles participants perceived in applying at the UN.
  • 5% of the participants obtained a UN position during the six months.
  • 57% of the participants were applying for UN positions that were below their level of experience.
  • 33% of the participants spent 4 months or more searching for a UN position that matches their profile.
  • 45% of the participants will continue their job search at the UN after the case study.
  • 43% of the participants stated the accountability buddy network group changed their approach to job search at the UN.

Next Steps

In December 2017 the second wave of  the case study was launched to have comparison data and to include male participants and non-staff transitioning to staff positions. 215 applicants were recruited via social media. 65 participants engaged with only 6% men and 10 volunteer coordinators.  A third wave is scheduled to start in May 2018. The recruitment for male participants is still in progress. The final paper for publishing is to be completed in March 2019.

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