About Women's Link Worldwide
For twenty years, Women’s Link Worldwide (Women’s Link) has solidified its comparative advantage of using the law in creative ways to seek justice for women and girls; bringing them closer to lives that are free from violence and discrimination and where they are fully autonomous over their bodies and choices. While this is sometimes done by litigating cases, Women’s Link takes a broader approach by bringing together legal action, advocacy and communications to combat the gap between legal frameworks and the reality of structural discrimination and inequality. The organization’s work has focused on women’s sexual and reproductive rights and freedom from gender violence especially where they intersect and are perpetuated by human trafficking, migration and conflict.
These and other forms of intersecting discrimination and violence facing women and girls are exacerbated by increased political persecution and climate change risks. Efforts by anti-rights organizations to roll back women’s rights are the status quo, as are the systems of oppression like racism, xenophobia and homophobia. Rights-based institutions, and particularly those for women’s rights, are at risk through anti-rights rhetoric and efforts to erode democracy. While women’s rights movements and marches globally have been continuing to fight against these systemic forces, they remain at constant and expanding risk.
In response to the threats to the safety and freedom of women and girls and to address a vital and unmet need to use or change the law, Women’s Link was founded in 2001 by Viviana Waisman. 20 years after founding the organization, Viviana will be leaving her role and is excited to have new leadership guide the organization into the future. In preparation for this transition and to enable a feminist leadership structure, the organization has invested in developing a distributed leadership model, including a team of highly effective Managing Attorneys for the incoming Executive Director (ED) to lead, advise and support. Women’s Link is ready for new leadership to take it into its future at a moment where the mission remains so vital.
Women’s Link has become known as a leading feminist organization that opens new frontiers and develops legal theories and strategies, particularly that bring attention to women’s rights violations that are undocumented or neglected. The organization has worked tirelessly to ensure that, ultimately, any advances made on paper translate into a meaningful difference in people’s lives. Through their creative, empathetic staff with deep technical acumen in advocacy, communications and the law, the organization prioritizes flexibility, responding to emerging needs and opportunities in a complicated landscape. With staff in Central, South and North America, Europe, and East Africa, Women’s Link works in context, partnering, listening and amplifying the women and girls for and with whom they work.
You can find further details on their website Women's Link Worldwide: Take action | Women's Link (womenslinkworldwide.org)
Executive Director Role Profile
Women’s Link has recently shaped a five-year strategic framework, which focuses on scaling mission impact. Its strategic pillars center women and girls, focus on setting the agenda, strengthening movements and advocacy and ultimately, increasing awareness and mobilization around using the law in creative and innovative ways to create change. This strategy will continue to be further stress-tested and iterated under the incoming ED as they build their understanding of what works and begin to navigate key strategic questions. These include appropriate breadth vs. depth of the strategy in key geographies and what scaling impact will mean for organizational growth.
There are both external and internal areas of accountability of the incoming ED. Externally the ED is expected to be accountable for the strategic positioning of the organization, understanding and communicating how Women’s Link can contribute to social change and the specific role the organization plays in a complex ecosystem. They are expected to represent the strategic vision and direction of the organization as a strong ambassador, acting as a face of the organization, but not the only face of the organization. Critical to achieving the strategic vision and delivering mission impact will be shaping and co-creating strategic partnerships and alliances as well as cultivating the relationships and resources required for the organization to deliver.
Internally the staff, and especially the leadership team, will look to the ED to build, empower and challenge them to continue to strengthen the organization as it matures. As a strategic leader they will be responsible for ensuring the program strategy achieves its intended impacts in line with vision and mission. Implementation will be primarily led by Women’s Link Managing Attorneys. Responsible for overall management of the organization, the ED will collaborate regularly with the Board of Directors to ensure good governance, manage risk and optimize organizational performance, including financially.
While the new leader is expected to bring their own style and personality to the role, it is important that they take a feminist approach to leadership in line with the organization’s values. This includes empowering others to learn and build their capacity as leaders, consistent with the distributed leadership model of the organization. It also means grounding the organization’s work in the expertise and insight of local organizations, partners and all members of the staff, bringing out the best in others and leaning on their strengths. Feminist leadership should be lived both professionally and personally in how the incoming ED actively works through discomfort, is generous with their knowledge, listens deeply and centers race, gender, socio-economic situation, geography, ability, and other intersecting identities when interacting with others.
Key to successfully delivering in this role, and underscoring a feminist leadership style, is leading and living the organizational culture. The ED will be expected to model the behaviors, traits and values the organization wishes to embody both internally and externally. These include, but are not limited to: visionary, creative, generous, humble and passionate. They must also be an active listener, critical thinker and problem solver. The ED role includes many responsibilities but also is an opportunity to bring a sense of curiosity and excitement to the organization to unlock and increase mission impact in order take Women’s Link to the next level.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Work with the Board to define and agree on institutional strategy-
- Refine comparative advantage and articulate the organization’s role in the landscape, identifying new opportunities to bring value-
- Ensure institutional strategy and program alignment
- Articulate the connection between projects and initiatives and vision, and elevate across contexts
- Collaborate with the institutional advancement team to build and execute a resource mobilization strategy
- Model the behaviors, values and culture of the organization
- Provide the leadership team with support to maximize impact of program strategy
- Help set parameters for what the organization should and should not be doing, including opportunities to enter or exit a program area or geography
Stakeholder and Relationship Management
- Effectively communicate Women’s Link’s strategy and vision to mobilize support, and to inform dialogue
- Represent Women’s Link’s strategic vision and direction as one of its key ambassadors
- Build the profile and reputation of the organization
- Contribute thought leadership that encourages creativity and pushes boundaries, building field leadership through the substance of this work and what feminist human rights international work looks like in the field at large
- Develop Women’s Link’s presence in the ecosystem at key fora and in the media
- Model, lead and strengthen the distributed leadership model
- Lead and directly supervise members of the leadership team which includes the Managing Attorneys, Chief Financial and Operating Officer and Director of Institutional Advancement
- Champion equity and inclusion within the organization and with partners, in line with ongoing transformation work
- Provide oversight and ensure accountability, alongside the Board, on all aspects of organizational performance
- Ensure management information is packaged in a way to enable evidence-based decision making by the Board, including around risk
- Remove barriers to effectiveness and ways of working
- Invest in the development and well-being of the Leadership Team and Staff
Education, Qualifications & Experience
- Experience in strategic litigation and using the law in creative ways as a tool for social change
- Training and background in international human rights and legal frameworks
- Meaningful engagement with women’s causes and movements (i.e. experience in organizing, collaborating, is well-versed in players and their role in the ecosystem)
- Previous experience as part of a senior leadership team or as a senior leader in a highly complex or large organization
- Past participation in OR commitment to a distributed leadership or more horizontal model
- Experience within Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) with an understanding of key actors and trends within the ecosystem to identify emerging areas of focus
- Working Language Proficiency in English and Spanish
Subject matter expertise in one or more of the thematic areas of: sexual and reproductive rights, trafficking in human beings, women and borders, women and peacebuilding, discrimination and violence, and the ecosystem of actors and donors working in that space
- Experience leading organizational growth / scaling of a similar organizational size and scope
- Experience overseeing and orchestrating resource development activities, securing contributions and raising funds. Preferred for the candidate to bring a network of donors and funders relationships to Women’s Link
- Experience working alongside Boards of Directors on strategy and good governance or knowledge and experience around nonprofit governance best practices
- Experience in one or more of the geographies in the Global South where Women’s Link works—Central and South America, Caribbean, and/or East Africa— to ground the policy and legal work of Women’s Link. Ideally in a transnational context
Terms of Appointment
Women’s Link will consider applicants who wish to entertain a co-leadership role. This is a full-time position that will be contracted in accordance with employment laws in the country of employment.
Salary + Benefits: $140,000-$170,000 USD. Women’s Link offers a generous benefits package that includes health coverage, retirement benefits, and paid sick leave, vacation, and holidays.
This position is fully remote. Collaboration will be expected with team members in the Americas, Europe and East Africa.
How to Apply
If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 15 October. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent version of your CV.
All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. If you have an initial query rather than an application, kindly email us at [email protected].
SRI Executive is exclusively retained by WLW to undertake this assignment.