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Dr. Adam Simpson: Positively Changing Social Norms

Dr. Adam Simpson: Positively Changing Social Norms

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Dr. Adam Simpson, the head of global programme management office of UN Women. Let’s learn what’s happening at UN Women and how Adam is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Adam! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through UN Women?

Adam: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! UN Women is the UN organization delivering programmes, policies, and standards that uphold women’s human rights and ensure that every woman and girl lives up to her full potential.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Adam: Gender equality is linked to broader goals of sustainable development and economic growth. Empowering women and promoting gender equality can lead to improved health, education, and economic outcomes for societies, and can have a lasting impact on future generations. This is what motivates me to do my part to help.

Spiffy: What is the impact of your work?

Adam: Positively changing social norms. The work of UN Women helps women and girls recognize their worth and potential, enabling them to pursue education, careers, and personal aspirations without being limited by traditional gender roles and expectations. It also helps reduce discrimination and bias against women and marginalized genders, fostering a more inclusive and accepting world. And, the work, done with partners in countries worldwide, can influence policy changes that promote gender equality at local, national, and global levels. This can include laws addressing issues like workplace discrimination, violence against women, and equal pay.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your audience/community?

Adam: My team has been working hard to strengthen project and programme management capacities in the organization, to align with external “gold standards” and ensure that not only are our projects delivered at a consistent high-quality level, but that the global bodies working with projects and programmes are considering the importance of gender-equality in their own standards and practices. This is a very exciting initiative for us.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Adam: Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on UN Women's work.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Adam—it’s been an honor!

As head of the global programme management office in UN Women, Dr. Adam Simpson provides oversight to the organization’s global portfolio of projects and programmes. Adam holds a doctorate degree in social sciences, and a masters in human security and peacebuilding from Royal Roads University, as well as executive leadership and change management certificates from Harvard Business School and Cornell University. He is PMP, PRINCE2, MSP, P30, and ProSci certified. (First published on the Ladderworks website on September 06, 2023.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Shikha Tandon. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.