Better Cotton Gender Manager

Better Cotton Gender Manager

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Better Cotton Initiative

  • Starting Date: As soon as possible
  • Contract type: Permanent, open-ended contract
  • Salary: CHF 92,000/ £50,500 / INR 2,800,000
  • Location: Geneva, London, India (remote)
  • Application Closing Date: 11th December 2022


Better Cotton is the world’s largest sustainability initiative for cotton. Our mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Better Cotton operates on a truly global scale. Through our network of field-level partners we have trained over 2.5 million farmers in 23 countries in more sustainable farming practices. Almost a quarter of the world’s cotton is now grown under the Better Cotton Standard System. We have also united the industry’s stakeholders behind our efforts, from producers, ginners and spinners to brand owners, civil society organisations and governments.

In 2019 Better Cotton launched its first Gender Strategy, which outlined our plan to mainstream a gender sensitive approach across our operations and proactively tackle inequalities. The Better Cotton 2030 strategy recognises our opportunity to tackle systemic inequalities and support women’s empowerment. To put it simply - women not only make up half of the population, but contribute significantly to cotton farming activities.. However, the lack of recognition of women’s labour in cotton production and pervasive social norms have created structural barriers to women’s ability to access inputs, services and new markets. By better including women in Better Cotton, we can address these inequalities and accelerate the uptake of more sustainable practices.

About this role

Better Cotton is seeking a forward-thinking and ambitious Gender Manager to ensure that we deliver on our aim to make Better Cotton better for all. This role will be responsible for designing and implementing the next phase of our Gender Strategy to support this aim.


The role will sit within the Programmes Function at Better Cotton. It will involve close collaboration with other internal teams including Standards & Assurance, Monitoring Evaluation and Learning, Communications, Fundraising, and country-level programme teams (e.g., in India, China, Pakistan, Mali, Mozambique and Turkey).

The Gender Manager will have the following responsibilities:

Gender Strategy revision and rollout, 2030 women’s empowerment impact target rollout

  • Through a consultative process, update the gender strategy in line with the Better Cotton 2030 strategy and new women’s empowerment impact targets, and our commitment to transformative action.
    • The women’s empowerment impact targets will be published by year-end 2022. They aim to drive progress at partner level and at field level, through a focus on representation and participation.
  • Lead the rollout of the new strategy, including identifying resource requirements from staff capacity to budget allocation

Collaboration, partnership development and stakeholder engagement

  • Lead on identifying and setting up new global level partnerships with NGOs, multistakeholder groups, government actors, and others to help drive progress on gender equality
  • Collaborate with the Better Cotton fundraising team to create proposals
  • Support country-level Better Cotton teams in identifying and establishing new partnerships with women’s rights organisations and transformative gender equality focused organisations
  • Collaborate with Better Cotton colleagues, in particular those leading Decent Work and Livelihoods activities, to mainstream gender considerations

Thought leadership and communications

  • Raise the profile of the Gender Strategy internally and support all stakeholders to understand the need and benefits of committing time, resources and, importantly, budget, to gender work
  • Participate in events, conferences, and panels to represent our work and share learnings and provide thought leadership on the topics of gender equality and sustainable agriculture
  • Communicate our learnings, challenges and progress to internal and external audiences through various outputs such as newsletter articles, blogs and videos

Build staff capacity

  • Organise training for Better Cotton staff on GESI, in collaboration with the HR team
  • Coordinate the representative Gender Working Group, a platform for learning, brainstorming and sharing


The selected candidate will have the following skills, knowledge, and experience:

Skills, Knowledge and Experience
Relevant university degree, or equivalent work experience with women’s rights and/or organisations focused on gender
Leadership skills – ability to influence and convince others to commit to gender in an otherwise ‘conservative’ agriculture sector
Significant practical experience of gender and development work with substantial time spent in South Asia or Sub Saharan Africa
Experience in developing and implementing gender mainstreaming strategies and action plans and creating and inspiring gender-responsive programmes across various contexts
Brings an existing network of individuals and organisations with gender equality expertise, such as women’s rights organisations
Excellent organisational and project management skills – ability to handle multiple projects in parallel using best practice tools
Fundraising experience – proposal development, partnership building, donor relations
Proven ability to collaborate effectively (in-person and through use of virtual tools) across different teams and cultures, with strong relationship-building skills.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills – ability to communicate clearly and concisely, as well as the ability to assimilate and process information for diverse audiences
Experience with monitoring, evaluation and learning systems and developing indicator frameworks and methodologies to measure empowerment and equality
Proven ability to work autonomously with a high level of personal effectiveness and ability to adapt to changing priorities
Experience building and managing project teams and identifying and recruiting human resources as needed.
Financial skills, particularly building and managing budgets
Excellent computer and IT skills, including: Word; PowerPoint; Excel, Outlook
Fluent in English
Relevant higher level university degree
Familiarity with the gender dynamics of smallholder agriculture systems, especially cash crops/cotton
Experience with farmer training and capacity building, particularly in smallholder contexts
Experience with livelihoods and decent work initiatives
Experience with sustainability standards systems
Competency in languages most relevant to Better Cotton countries, such as Hindi, Urdu, Mandarin Chinese, French, Portuguese and Turkish


Working arrangements

This is a full time (40 hours per week) position on a permanent contract. Better Cotton supports flexible working, with core hours being between 10AM – 4PM. For applicants in Geneva and London, the role will operate on a hybrid setup in line with our Flexible Working Policy. Candidates in India will be hired fully remotely and will have a contract of employment through our Employer of Record.

Covid-dependent, the position will include travel – likely 1-2 short-haul trips per year and 1-2 longer trips to a cotton-growing regions (Africa, South Asia, Americas).


Interested applicants with the required attributes are asked to send, in English, a detailed CV and a brief cover letter (2 pages maximum) to Better Cotton by applying via this link

Cover letter questions:

  1. How and why do you feel that you are suited for this role? Please share specific experiences and projects as examples.
  2. Which of the responsibilities outlined above most inspire you?
  3. Better Cotton is active in over 23 countries. How will you approach developing policies and projects that are globally applicable while ensuring local relevance and adaptation?

Application deadline:  11th December 2022

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only candidates short-listed for a telephone interview will be contacted.

Better Cotton is currently unable to provide sponsorship for work permits, and candidates need to have a pre-existing right to work in the location where they will be based.

Better Cotton is an equal opportunities employer, and is committed to good practice and transparency in the management of natural, human and financial resources.

Better Cotton has a zero tolerance approach to any attitudes or behaviours that put children or adults at risk of harm. Safeguarding incidents are acts of serious misconduct and are grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including, dismissal and referral to relevant authorities for criminal prosecution.