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Gender Academy

A global event on gender, work and development

13 – 24 November 2017 Turin, Italy

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SPEAKERS - Gender Academy 2017



Adrienne Cruz is a gender specialist with the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch at the International Labour Office based in Geneva. In 2012 she authored a comparative study on good practices and challenges on the Maternity Protection Convention and the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention and co-authored in 2011 a working paper on Gender-based Violence in the World of Work: Overview and annotated bibliography. The same year she co-authored the ILO Guide to mainstreaming gender in workplace responses to HIV and AIDS. Her responsibilities include coordinating the ILO Action Plan for Gender Equality 2010-15, as well as the global ILO Gender Network.

Alicia Ziffer has specialized in gender, training and education. Born in Argentina she is now based in Santo Domingo where she is Training Programme Coordinator at the UN Women Training Centre. The Training Centre provides courses and resources on UN Women Priority areas and other emerging issues to a global and diverse audience. Alicia is part of the Gender Academy team in the framework of the partnership between UN Women and the ITC ILO. Alicia speaks English and Spanish.

Angelika Muller, from Belarus, studied law in Belarus and France. She has Master’s degrees in Comparative Labour Law and International Human Resources Management. After 10 years of professional experience in the private sector, including in the legal departments of multinational companies (e.g. AIRBUS and SANOFI), Angelika joined the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva in 2004. During 9 years, she was in charge of labour law reforms in all regions worldwide. Since 2014, Angelika has been serving as Senior Specialist in Social Dialogue in the Department of Governance and Tripartism in the ILO (Geneva). Angelika has published several comparative studies on social dialogue institutions, labour law and gender equality. Throughout her career in the ILO, she has always served as Gender Coordinator in her departments. Angelika speaks English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Christina Holmgren, a Swedish citizen, graduated in Swedish law at Stockholm’s University, and later in European Law at the Institut d’Etudes Européennes, Brussels. She then went to Geneva where she did her PhD in International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, in parallel with work with the United Nations. She then joined the ILO and started her work as International Labour Standards Specialist in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2004. She continued the same work, but based in Pretoria, South Africa, which covers 18 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. She trains the constituents on International Labour Standards, as well as other stakeholders, such as namely Judges. In 2013, together with the Turin Centre, she organised the first Africa Supreme Court Conference on International Labour Standards.

Claudia Oehl is a trainer and consultant, specialised in Results Based Management and Project Cycle Management. She has been collaborating with the ILO and the Turin centre for more than fifteen years. Her collaborations also include UN Women where she has delivered several trainings worldwide on gender sensitive RBM. She also has extensive experience in working with social partners, labour market institutions, VET and adult education providers and educational organisations. Furthermore, her experience includes working in the EU institutions.

 Claudy Vouhé is a French feminist gender expert and activist. As an expert, she is mainly involved in training practitioners and policy-makers on the integration of gender in public policies and programmes and supporting organisational change towards transformative gender mainstreaming. As an activist, she is a committed volunteer with the first international francophone network on gender, Genre en Action, she co-founded in 2003, and of which she was president between 2009 - 2014.

Daniela Bertino began working at ITCILO in 1977; in the 1980s, she created and managed a program on women's development (later on gender equality), focusing on women workers' rights, equal opportunities, empowerment of women and entrepreneurship among women. In 2000, she moved to set up and manage a program on social dialogue, labour law and labor administration, including a broad capacity-building program on strengthening labour inspection services. An architect, a mother, a widow, she is retired since mid-2012.

Dylan Orr is the Director of the Office of Labor Standards for the City of Seattle. In this role, he is responsible for effectively implementing Seattle's historic Minimum Wage law, as well as its Paid Sick and Safe Time law, Wage Theft law, Fair Chance Employment law, Secure Scheduling law, and the Hotel Employees Health and Safety initiative. Previously, Orr served in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor from 2009 – 2015, where he last served as Chief of Staff in the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).  In this capacity, he served as a principal strategic advisor and contributed to the development of national disability employment-related regulations and policies. Key examples of his contributions included historic regulations issued under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the President’s Executive Order on Minimum Wage. As the Department of Labor representative, he worked with the White House Office of National AIDS Policy on the development and implementation of the President's National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Orr also played a key role in adding protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation to internal and external federal policies and regulations. Upon his appointment to his role as Special Assistant in ODEP in 2009, he became the first openly transgender person appointed to any U.S. presidential administration. He is now the first openly transgender individual to be appointed to the Mayor’s Cabinet for the City of Seattle.

Maria Tsirantonaki works on gender equality and youth issues in the Equality department of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). She is the secretary of the ITUC Youth Committee and is currently coordinating the ‘Get Organised!’ Youth programme. She has previously coordinated the ITUC Decisions for Life campaign, aimed at young women workers, and the ITUC Labour Rights for Women campaign. The ITUC is the global voice of the world’s working people representing 181 million workers in 163 countries and territories and has 333 national affiliates.

Eric Stener Carlson, Ph.D.  (Doctorate in Political Science, University of California at Santa Barbara; Master of International Affairs, Columbia University; Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, The American University).  Seventeen years working for the International Labour Organization in Europe, Asia and Latin America, in the fields of disability, HIV prevention, LGBT rights, gender equality and child labour.  Currently a member of the Gender, Equality and Diversity branch team facilitating the ILO standard-setting process on “Violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work”.


 Guillaume Cravero is a senior adviser at BusinessEurope. He works on the European social dialogue, project management, labour markets reforms, the European semester, gender equality and diversity. He graduated from Grenoble Ecole de Management with a focus on innovation and technology in management and also holds an Executive Master of Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Guillaume previously worked in social affairs in Paris as a political adviser and in trade promotion at the French Trade Agency, in France and in the USA.



 Cinzia Sechi is a senior policy advisor for the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). She mainly deals with gender equality and European social dialogue issues and coordinates related ETUC activities in these fields. She has been involved in several negotiations with EU-level employers, including EU Social Dialogue work programmes, framework agreements and joint projects. She represents the ETUC in various high-level and ad-hoc EU groups (ie EIGE, EC Advisory Committee on gender equality, etc.) as to promote gender equality in trade unions and in the labour market. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Sciences and a Master’s Degree in European Employment Relations.

Linda Deleen is the Manager of the Enterprise, Microfinance and Local Development Programme (EMLD) of the International Training Centre of the ILO, managing a portfolio of training and capacity building activities in the areas of SME development, financial services, rural and local development, cooperatives and the social and solidarity economy. The programme includes two Masters Programmes in English and Spanish on world heritage and cultural projects for development with the University of Turin and the University of Barcelona respectively. Before joining the Centre, Linda worked as enterprise specialist for the International Labour Organization, both at ILO headquarters in Geneva and in different field offices in Asia and Latin America. For over 20 years she provided technical support, training and advisory services to public and private institutions on private sector development with a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. Linda holds a Master’s in Agronomy from the University of Wageningen, The Netherlands. Her recent publications include Políticas para la formalización de las micro y pequeñas empresas en América Latina (editor), La situación de la micro y pequeña empresa en Chile (co-author), Guarantee funds for small enterprises (co-authored), and Leasing for small and micro enterprises (co-authored).

Lisa Wong is a national of Trinidad and Tobago and a graduate of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, Lisa is the principal coordinator for the International Labour Office’s (ILO) 2017 Report on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and principal author of the 2011 Global Report on Non-discrimination in employment and occupation: Equality at work: The continuing challenge. A senior specialist in the ILO’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch at its headquarters in Geneva, Lisa conceived the vision for the ILO/UN-Women and /OECD led Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), which was launched in New York at the UN General Assembly on 18 September 2017. Lisa is also responsible for the overall planning, implementation, evaluation and reporting of the Branch’s non-discrimination portfolio. Her work in this area is primarily linked to provision of technical advisory services to the ILO’s constituents, and the development and management of technical cooperation projects in countries covering all grounds of discrimination including on equal pay for work of equal value, sexual harassment, and sexual orientation in countries such as Jordan, Togo, and Vietnam to name a few. In addition to her vast practical experience on project management Lisa is responsible for conceiving and/or developing practical tools for use at the workplace, such as the ILO’s Step by Step Guide on Promoting Ethnic Diversity at the Workplace which was published in 2015, and the Practical Guide on Promoting Diversity and Inclusion through Workplace Adjustments which was launched in December 2016. An ILO career official, Lisa has worked on different assignments in both headquarters and the field, in particular in the Latin American and Caribbean Region where she was stationed for 12 years. Lisa is a native English speaker, and is fluent in both Spanish and French.

Olena Vazhynska is a Programme Officer of the International Labour Standards, Rights at Work and Gender Equality (ILSGEN) Programme at the International Training Centre (ITC) of the ILO in Turin. As an activity manager, she contributes to the mission of the ILSGEN to support the development of knowledge and skills promoting international labour standards (ILS) and rights at work in order to advance the achievement of equality and decent work for all. Olena focuses on the activities in the areas of ILS reporting, ILS for judges, lawyers and legal educators, non-standard forms of employment and ILS in other thematic areas. She has an experience working with a broad range of ILS, heretofore built at the Conditions of Work and Equality (WORKQUALITY) and International Labour Standards (NORMES) Departments in Geneva, which include ILS on social security, occupational safety and health, employment relations, equality of opportunity and treatment, collective bargaining, working time, migrant workers and specific categories of workers such as domestic workers. Prior to joining the ILO, Olena has been designing and implementing training and education programmes in both private and public sectors.

Lorena Aguilar is IUCN's Global Senior Gender Advisor. She has over 25 years of experience in projects and initiatives involving public policy development, building local institutions and the incorporation of social and gender issues into development. Lorena has established and consolidated the IUCN Global Gender Office, which is the preferred partner for international governments and non-governmental organizations seeking to promote gender equality and women empowerment for achieving biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Lorena provides assistance to international organizations, governments and universities on gender policy, gender equality and women's empowerment, as well as water, environmental health and disaster risk reduction. She has created and is part of some of the most influential international gender networks; e.g. the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders of the Environment and the Global Gender and Climate Alliance. Lorena was born in San José, Costa Rica and has a Master’s degree in Anthropology with a major in Cultural Ecology. She is the author of over seventy publications.

Lucy Ferguson is a researcher and consultant in gender equality, specialising in gender training. She is a co-editor of 'The Politics of Feminist Knowledge Transfer: Gender Training and Gender Expertise' (Palgrave Gender and Politics Series, 2016) and author of "This is our gender person": the messy business of working as a gender expert in international development (International Feminist Journal of Politics, 2015). She is currently working on a book manuscript for the Palgrave Pivot Series, entitled 'Gender Training: a Transformative Tool for Gender Equality'. As a practitioner, Lucy has collaborated with UN Women Training Centre in Santo Domingo since 2013. In this role she has moderated the UN Women Community of Practice in Training for Gender Equality; facilitated Webinars on various topics related to gender training; and produced a Working Paper Series (2017) on key issues in the field (Feminist Pedagogies; Theory of Change; Quality; and Education). She has also conducted two in-depth gender evaluations - for the Commonwealth Secretariat, London (2016) and United Nations Volunteers, Bonn (2017). In addition, Lucy has published widely in peer-reviewed journals on gender and development and feminist political economy since obtaining her PhD in 2007.

Maja Bosnic,  is a Team Leader for the SIDA funded Project “Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) in Ukraine” implemented by Niras-Indevelop. The five-year project is one of the biggest global cooperation with the Ministry of Finance to introduce gender responsive budgeting in PFM reform process. Maja  is an economist, specialized in public finance management (PFM) and gender responsive budgeting (GRB) having worked in the transitional countries of the SEE region (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania), Caribbean region and Ukraine. She was engaged in number of PFM and GRB related reforms working directly with ministries of finance, multiple line ministries and civil society organizations. Working with  IMF CARTAC, she provided suggestions for inclusion of gender equality aspect in Budget Manual s for Caribbean countries. As a civil society and GRB adviser for DFID funded project “Strengthening Public Expenditure Management” in BiH, she was the lead author of the „Citizen's Guide to Budget“ (BiH, 2010), and co-author of the „Handbook for Successful Cooperation with Parliament for Citizens“ (BiH, 2010). She was part of pioneer initiatives to introduce GRB in South East Europe Region working with UN Women, and coordinated preparation of the first "GRB Textbook for Universities“ for the SEE region. Maja is an experienced trainer with over 200 delivered trainings on performance budgeting and gender responsive budgeting.

Manuela Tomei, Director of the Conditions of Work and Equality Department ( WORKQUALITY) ILO Geneva.  The Department on Conditions of Work and Equality (WORKQUALITY) aims to improve the quality of jobs for women and men and to foster equality in the world of work. The strengthening labour market institutions and adoption of other measures that afford inclusive and effective labour protection to all workers are central to this objective. The WORKQUALITY multidisciplinary global technical team comprises three branches: Inclusive Labour Markets, Labour Relations and Working Conditions Branch (INWORK); Gender, Equality and Diversity and HIV/AIDS and the World of Work Branch (GED/ILOAIDS), and the Labour Migration Branch (MIGRANT). 

Maria Laura Di Tommaso is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Turin in Italy and Affiliate to Collegio Carlo Alberto. Previous positions include: College Lecturer in Economics and Fellow at Robinson College, University of Cambridge and Research Associate in the Department of Applied Economics, University of Cambridge. She lectures both in Microeconomics, Labour Economics, Economics of Gender, Quantitative methods. Her interests are in the field of Micro-economics, Economics of Gender, and the Capability Approach. Her work appears in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, the Economic Journal, Journal of Health Economics, European Journal of Political Economy, Feminist Economics, Journal of Population Economics. Current research projects include: Gender gap in mathematics, Sex work and trafficking, How to measure and value freedom of choice? Operationalising the capability approach in a gender perspective, Gender wage gap in Italy.

Elsa Fornero holds the Chair of Economics at the University of Turin, as well as academic positions as Scientific Coordinator at CeRP (the Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, which she founded in 1999), Honorary Senior Fellow of the Collegio Carlo Alberto, Vice-President of Share-Eric (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe), Research Fellow at Netspar, and Policy Fellow at the IZA Institute for the Study of Labour. She is also a member of the Scientific Council of the Observatoire de l'Epargne Européenne, the Advisory Group of the New Pact for Europe and the Research Committee of the OECD International Network on Financial Education. From November 2011 to April 2013 she served as Minister of Labour, Social Policies and Equal Opportunities in Italy’s “technocratic” government, in which capacity she conceived and drafted the pension and labour market reforms that, by altering the medium and long term structure of Italian public finance and labour regulation, were fundamental to the EU’s subsequent lifting of its excessive deficit procedure against Italy and to the long term rebalancing of economic relations between generations, from youth to middle age. Fornero is also the author of many publications on public and private pension systems, pension reforms, population ageing, household saving, retirement choices and life insurance. Her recent writings have been influenced by her experience in policy making. One of her latest work, on reform and financial education, is: “Voting in the aftermath of a pension reform: the role of economic-financial literacy”, (with Anna Lo Prete); CeRP WP 171/17 Webpage:

Afsar Syed Mohammad is working with the Gender, Equality and Diversity & ILOAIDS Branch of the ILO in Geneva as Senior Technical Specialist, heading Communication, Training and Partnerships unit. He has over 25 years of experience in public health, training, communication, human rights, gender and public-private partnerships. Before the ILO, he has worked for large scale public health and developmental programmes of USAID, DFID and Catholic Relief Services. He has been engaged in development of communication & advocacy campaigns and tools on human rights, HIV/AIDS, reproductive and child health and gender.  He has conducted training programmes at global (Including the ILO International Training Centre, Turin, Italy), regional and national levels. He has extensive experience of providing technical advisory services to governments, public and private sector as well as civil society organizations. Blog: / Twitter:

Maria Cristina Rossi is an associate Professor of Economics at the School of Management and Economics, University of Turin, Italy and a Research Affiliate of CeRP, Collegio Carlo Alberto and Netspar fellow. She also is in the Editorial Board of Ingenere web magazine and Visiting Professor at LISER (formerly CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg). Her research interests cover the household decisions on consumption/saving over the life cycle, precautionary saving, portfolio decision and poverty analysis. Her research areas also span human capital accumulation with reference to developing countries and gender economics. She previously worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and as a consultant for ILO, UNICEF, UCW (Understanding Children's Work) and the World Bank.

Maria Teresa Guitierrez is a Technical Specialist on Employment Intensive Investment Unit of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva and Gender Specialist on Public Works. Alternate Gender Coordinator of the Employment Policy Department. Maria Teresa is an anthropologist with a Master degree on Development Studies from Bath University; she has a post graduate specialization on Rural Development and a Diploma on Gender. She has worked substantively on the promotion of employment creation, employability and empowerment of disadvantaged groups, with a primary focus on rural women and indigenous populations, at policy and project level. Being that the construction sector a male driven one, she has influenced women participation and gender equality in public infrastructure investments especially at community level by developing local resources and rights based approaches, as well as on public works programmes. She has developed a guidelines to support policy makers, contractors and project coordinators to mainstream gender along the policy and project cycles.

Marie-Claire Sodergren is a senior economist at the ILO in the Data Production and Analysis Unit of the Department of Statistics, where she has been overseeing data compilation activities for 5 years. Prior to that, she was an economist at the Bureau of Labour Statistics for 11 years and was last supervising a program on international labour statistics.

Massimiliano Fusari is a digital consultant, scholar and results-driven visual storyteller with established international educational and professional experience. Through his research on The Image As Storytelling he assesses the relations between the real, the communicated and the seen, endlessly exploring ways to bridge the gap between academia and the media industries. As Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, he teaches on interactive media, visual storytelling and digital creativity. He runs two consulting activities, The Image As Storytelling and Strategic Diplomacy. His portfolio is available on his website.

Michelle Odayan is an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa (BA.LLB), a social entrepreneur and the co founder of the Indiba – Africa Group, a human rights focused development practice. She is a strategist, influencer and enabler offering clients from under trees to boardrooms innovative perspectives, insights and approaches for change and institutional transformation in Africa. She has substantive experience working with government, the private sector and civil society stakeholders on a wide range of cross cutting social and economic capacity building interventions, business and human rights, high impact skills and entrepreneurship development and technological advancement. Her personal and professional life is anchored around values based leadership and a firm commitment to social justice.

Naoko Otobe is Senior Employment and Gender Specialist of Employment Policy Department of the ILO, Geneva. Having worked in the ILO for more than 25 years, she has substantial operational, research and training experience on gender and employment issues in various developing countries in both Asia and Africa. Otobe’s key recent publications, among others, include: Resource guide on gender issues in employment and labour market policiesWorking towards women’s economic empowerment and gender equality and Export-led development, employment and gender in the era of globalization.

Olivier Malcor is an experienced Forum Theatre facilitator with 15 years of global experience. He is very actively involved in giving men opportunities to create new forms of plural and positive masculinities. He has used Forum Theatre in Africa, Latin America and Europe to engage women and men in staging and participatory solving of sensitive social problems at personal and community levels.


Claudia Signoretti is a Forum Theatre facilitator and holds ten years of professional experience in international projects for women’s empowerment, prevention and contrast of gender-based violence and CEDAW implementation.

Rajendre Khargi is a seasoned Leadership and Systems Coach, with a broad experience in both the NGO- and Business world. Our goal is to enable individuals, teams & organizations to improve their (team) leadership to engage the challenges of a fast changing work environment. To help them embrace change, enhance performance and achieve their goals and objectives. We believe leadership needs to evolve, matching new realities in this dynamically changing world. It requires new leadership: inspiring and effective leadership, positive working environments and improvement of results that will serve others. We challenge teams and individuals by revealing to them their leadership style and facilitate new approaches and leadership styles. We facilitate this transformation and offer first-class coaching programs and tailor made (coaching & training) programs for Teams & Organizations.

Amrita Sietaram is an accomplished professional with over twenty years of experience as ILO staff person dealing with the International Trade Union movement, policy development, advocacy, training of trade union staff and other professionals on HIV/AIDS in the workplace, Gender Equality and Child labour, Skills development and Crisis response. Expertise and experience as a facilitator of professional staff in an international environment. Trained in coaching, mediation and leadership development. Experience in developing specific programmes on HIV/AIDS in the workplace, Gender Equality and Child Labour.

Rósa Guðrún Erlingsdóttir, Senior Advisor of the Icelandic Ministry of Welfare 

Camila Vergara Vilchez. By profession I am an Engineer in Security and Risk Prevention, I am currently working at the Institute of Occupational Safety, where I also work as a union leader. I am part of the pilot-job evaluation plan to determine gender-free wage gaps that is being implemented today in Chile.

Lisa Wong is a national of Trinidad and Tobago and a graduate of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, Lisa is the principal coordinator for the International Labour Office’s (ILO) 2017 Report on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and principal author of the 2011 Global Report on Non-discrimination in employment and occupation: Equality at work: The continuing challenge. A senior specialist in the ILO’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch at its headquarters in Geneva, Lisa conceived the vision for the ILO/UN-Women and /OECD led Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), which was launched in New York at the UN General Assembly on 18 September 2017. Lisa is also responsible for the overall planning, implementation, evaluation and reporting of the Branch’s non-discrimination portfolio. Her work in this area is primarily linked to provision of technical advisory services to the ILO’s constituents, and the development and management of technical cooperation projects in countries covering all grounds of discrimination including on equal pay for work of equal value, sexual harassment, and sexual orientation in countries such as Jordan, Togo, and Vietnam to name a few. In addition to her vast practical experience on project management Lisa is responsible for conceiving and/or developing practical tools for use at the workplace, such as the ILO’s Step by Step Guide on Promoting Ethnic Diversity at the Workplace which was published in 2015, and the Practical Guide on Promoting Diversity and Inclusion through Workplace Adjustments which was launched in December 2016. An ILO career official, Lisa has worked on different assignments in both headquarters and the field, in particular in the Latin American and Caribbean Region where she was stationed for 12 years. Lisa is a native English speaker, and is fluent in both Spanish and French.

Rosalind Yarde is a senior communication and public information officer at the ILO in Geneva, specialising in advocacy and campaigns. Rosalind was previously deputy news editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement in London. She was also senior broadcast journalist at the BBC World Service and Director of the Darfur Lifeline Project in Sudan - a BBC Media Action ‘Communication for Development’ radio project targeting Internally Displaced People in Darfur. She is one of the co-leads of the ILO’s 50 for Freedom campaign against modern slavery.

Ruxandra Boros  is a consultant, trainer and lecturer in gender and entrepreneurship. Born and brought up in Romania, she started her career in investment banking in New York, then moved to Paris to be in charge of business development for a large French company, before embracing microfinance and the cause of women and their economic empowerment. She worked extensively in Afghanistan and contributed to introducing a gender dimension in projects and programmes in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. She is currently supporting the EU effort to integrate gender equality into development cooperation in line with its Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 and a Rights Based Approach. Ruxandra has a Master’s Degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University. Ruxandra is a consultant, trainer and lecturer in gender and finance. Over the past year she facilitated seminars on gender and women entrepreneurship in Morocco, Guinea Conakry, Belgium, France and Romania. She has a Master’s Degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University.

Sara Falcao, professor of Sociology at ISEG – The School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, where she teaches Sociology of Work (BA in Management/Business Studies), Organizational Models and Human Resource Management (MOGRH), and Gender, Work and Family in Doctoral programs. Researcher at the Research Centre in Economic and Organizational Sociology (SOCIUS-CSG), where she has coordinated and participated in research projects mainly focused on: gender decision-making and organizations; action-research in organizations: a transformative approach towards gender equality; gender relations in the labour market; gender and well-being; and work-life balance issues. These have also been main topics of her publications. Invited professor at the Universidade Aberta, where she coordinates the course Sociology of Work and Leisure (MSc in Women’s Studies). She coordinated the research network "Gender relations in the labour market and the welfare state", of the European Sociological Association (ESA), and is now a member of the Management Committee of the COST Action IS1409 - Gender and health impacts of policies extending working life in western countries. She was the Head of Portugal’s national official mechanism for gender equality (CIG), under the presidency of the Council of Ministers. Concerning this position, she was a member of the High Level Group in Gender Mainstreaming of the European Union. And was also a Member of the Management Board of EIGE – The European Institute for Gender Equality. She has been providing expert advisory support on public policies related to gender and non-discrimination issues for national and international public agencies.

Since 1999, Silke Steinhilber provides evidence-based strategic policy advice on social justice, women’s empowerment and gender equality in national and international contexts. She develops projects and conducts evaluations of country-level and multi-country projects and programmes promoting gender equality and non-discrimination. Silke is an experienced trainer on women’s rights and equality in social and employment policies, for example on inclusive employment services, equality in social security, maternity protection and on gender-sensitive participatory evaluations. Her clients include international organizations (e.g. ILO, UNICEF, UNDP, UN Women, European Union, World Bank, Council of Europe), as well as trade unions and women’s organizations or other civil society organizations. Silke has extensive working experience in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as in the European Union, and Latin America.

Until June 2015, Simonetta Cavazza had been the Manager of International Labour Standards, Rights at Work & Gender Equality Programme at The International Training Centre of the ILO. She was team leader of the first two Gender Academies (2011-2013). She has worked on women's empowerment and gender equality issues since 1990. Simonetta launched the ITCILO Gender Academy in 2011. She proposes this workshop based on her professional story and experience: her educational background in Foreign Modern Languages, her life-time commitment to teaching and training for gender equality as an international expert at the International Training Centre of the ILO, her recent but vivid interest for social photography and visual story-telling.

Sonia Maria Dias is WIEGO´s waste specialist. She is a sociologist by training. Active in the solid waste field since 1985, she has played a key role in helping to integrate the social aspects into the technical planning of waste collection and recycling in her home town Belo Horizonte, Brazil. From the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Sonia has attained a Master’s of Human Geography on the role of local governments in strengthening waster pickers’ organizations in Belo Horizonte and a PhD in Political Science on the role of participation in solid waste management in Brazil. She is a member of the Waste and Citizenship Forum and has served as a Latin American representative to the Collaborative Working Group on Solid Waste Management. She is a core-group member of the Observatory for Inclusive Recycling in Brazil and she is an Eisenhower Fellow. Ms Dias is interested in the links between poverty alleviation, the environment, informal employment, and civic engagement. She coordinates the Gender and Waste Research-Action Project in Brazil. She is currently linked probono as an associate researcher with the Women’s Centre for Research and Studies with NEPEM/UFMG. She collaborated with Habitat III as Policy Unit Expert (#2).

Suhail Abualsameed is an experienced professional with skills in gender, sexuality, SGBV, international development, project coordination, cross-cultural education and community based research, within emergency response and development contexts. "I have 15 years of thorough working knowledge on issues faced by diverse populations and minority groups with respect to gender and equity. I also have extensive experience dealing with issues relating to refugees and migration, sexuality, determinants of health, and cultural competency."



Eufemio Gianluca Truppa joined the team of the LGBT Office of the Municipality of Turin from 2010. He developed as a project officer and a trainer on diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation. He runs the coordination of RE.A.DY, the Italian Rainbow Regions and Municipalities network, managed by the Turin as wll as the National Secretariat and represents the Municipality of Turin in the International Rainbow Cities network created in 2011 by the Dutch Government. He also cooperates with FRA, the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, on specific training to promote Fundamental Rights at a local level in policy shaping and public service delivery in Italy. He believes in the essential value of training and network as a mean to share, reflect, confront and compare at all levels on the value of diversity management and on legal, economic and social costs of discrimination for all mankind in the whole world. He holds an academic degree in Political Science and a post-graduate specialisation in Equality and Discrimination Law from the University of Milan.


Christian Ballarin is an activist from 2000 for the LGBTQ Association “Maurice”, especially focusing on rights of transsexual and transgender people. In 2010 he opened in Turin a counselling front office for gender transition named “Spo.T” directly runned by T* persons. As an activist he contributed to the organization and implementation of the Pride Parade and to the Trans Freedom March both taking place in Turin to raise awareness on the Human Rights of LGBTQI people. In these years he developed as a trainer on LGBT topics, discrimination and inclusion by planning and delivering courses addressed to public and private companies’ personnel. From 2016 he works for the LGBT office of the Municipality of Turin. He holds a degree in Film History and Criticism from the University of Turin. He was the scientific coordinator for  two publications: Elementi di critica trans, Manifestolibri, 2010; Esquimesi in Amazzonia, Mimesis, 2013.

Mr Liu holds a Master of Public Administration from Renmin University in China and, before coming to Turin, was Deputy Administrator at the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, China (SAFEA, a public department under the Ministry of Human Resources). He was previously the Executive Director of the China Society of International Personnel Exchange Researches, and Deputy Secretary General and board member of the China Association of International Exchanges of Professionals. He was a member of the Steering Committee of Metropolis, an international experts’ network for international migration, and a designated guest professor at the State Civil Service Administration of China, in the Master of Public Administration. In his career, Mr Liu has been responsible for policy issues concerning foreign skilled workers and creating decent work opportunities and equal social protection for them.



Jeannette Shalabi is the Chief of Partnership and Programme Development Services of the International Training Centre of the ILO.

Zuzana Kazdova works with the Gender Office of the World Food Programme HQ in Rome, where she concentrates on gender mainstreaming, technical support and gender capacity development. Prior to that, she managed and supported programmes with NGOs, private sector and the EU, in both development and humanitarian settings mostly in East Africa and Asia, with focus on gender, food security and capacity building.

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