Diversity, equity, and inclusion

At Mercy Corps, achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. We believe that only by bringing together a diverse range of identities, experiences, and perspectives can we tackle complex crises and create a future where everyone can prosper. 

We are committed to creating a culture of belonging, where all team members are valued for who they are and given equal opportunity to grow and succeed, with no discrimination on the basis of their race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, military veteran status, or identification with any marginalized community in the 40+ countries where we work. Diversity, equity, and inclusion can look different in every country, and we’re committed to creating positive change at a local level within all of our teams across the world.

Mercy Corps is committed to taking clear, concerted steps to diversify our global team:

  • We will develop inclusive position descriptions that open doors for different types of backgrounds, experiences, and education, and that use language which welcomes a more diverse group of candidates.
  • We will ensure our global teams foster equity, inclusion, and belonging, and that diverse perspectives are valued in decision-making.
  • We will intentionally coach and mentor diverse talent.
  • We will support the expansion of workplace groups globally to build community for underrepresented groups and elevate their voices within the agency.
  • We will create and publish an equitable and transparent compensation philosophy and promotion guidelines.
  • We will intentionally diversify our Board membership in order to achieve: gender balance; greater representation of Board Directors who identify as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Color (BIPOC) / Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME); and a more global representation.

Mercy Corps is committed to listening, learning, and taking action. You can read more about Mercy Corps’ vision for racial and ethnic diversity for our global leadership team here.

In 2021, Mercy Corps’ Board of Directors agreed the following diversity goals:

  • 50% of Board members identify as female or non-binary.
  • 50% of Board members identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC) / Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME).
  • 25% of Board members should be a citizen of Africa, Asia, Central / South America, or the Middle East.

As of November 2023, progress towards these goals was as follow:

  • 45% of Board members identify as female or non-binary.
  • 45% of Board members identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC) / Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME). 
  • 30% of Board members are a citizen of Africa, Asia, Central / South America, or the Middle East.

Board of Directors Inclusion Commitment

Mercy Corps' Pathway to Possibility has five foundational commitments which underpin the work that Mercy Corps does – regardless of context – and challenge us to continuously push the boundaries of what is possible. One of these commitments is to help create a culture of inclusion for all people that protects, enables, and elevates diverse community members and groups.

In order to model the Safe, Diverse and Inclusive Commitment, the Joint Board of Directors commits to cultivating inclusion as the work of the Board is carried out. Mercy Corps’ Board of Directors does its most powerful work when the full diversity of identities, experiences and perspectives come together to oversee Mercy Corps’ success. With this is mind, Mercy Corps’ Joint Board of Directors, and each individual Board Director, commits to:

  • Hold themselves and each other, accountable to Mercy Corps’ values and ethical principles;
  • Develop self-awareness of privilege and power, and manage them responsibly, making space for others;
  • Acknowledge biases and actively seek diverse perspectives, including from the  communities Mercy Corps works with – and the most marginalized within them, to inform decision making;
  • Deeply listen with an openness to be changed by what is heard;
  • Build belonging by creating a psychologically safe and inclusive environment for Board work, and for all stakeholders engaging with the Board;
  • Act with empathy and respect considering cultural or individual differences.