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Shauna  Olney [Advisory Council]

Shauna Olney [Advisory Council]

Advisory Council Member


Shauna Olney, a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, is an employment and human rights expert, with over 30 years’ experience. She is the former Chief of the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch of the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. She studied law at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and as a postgraduate at the University of Oxford. During her over 25 years at the ILO, Ms Olney promoted equality at work from a range of perspectives. She led the ILO’s Women at Work Centenary Initiative, which generated an important body of new research and data, supporting a transformative agenda for gender equality. In this context, the work on violence and harassment resulted in the adoption of the first international treaty on the topic (Convention No. 190). She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC). Ms Olney is Canada’s candidate for the United Nations International Civil Service Commission.

She began her career as a barrister and solicitor in Canada, specializing in industrial relations, labour law and human rights, and also worked at the Supreme Court of Canada. She was a Deputy member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, and was named by Apolitical as one of the 100 most influential people in gender policy for 2019. She also received the Gallup Global Impact Award (2020).

She has authored and co-authored a number of publications on equality and non-discrimination, including “Gender Equality in the COVID-19 era and beyond’ in Essays on Equality (GIWL, King’s College, London); “Migrant Workers and the Right to Non-discrimination and Equality” in Migrants at Work (OUP); “A Better Future for Women at Work” (University of Oxford Human Rights Hub Journal); Equal Pay: An introductory guide (ILO); ‘The ILO, gender equality, and trade unions’ in Making globalization work for women (Suny Series, Praxis).