Dr. Mehr Manzoor

Dr. Mehr Manzoor, Founder & CEO, BeyondParity; DEIA Consultant, EnCompass LLC

Dr. Mehr Manzoor

Founder & CEO, BeyondParity; DEIA Consultant, EnCompass LLC

Mehr Manzoor is the founder and CEO of BeyondParity, focusing on rethinking gender equality beyond representation and co-designing a gender transformative leadership program for emerging women leaders. She is a gender, work, and organizations specialist and her research focuses on promoting gender equality in the global health workforce. As a learning and development specialist, she facilitates Respectful Inclusive and Safe Environment (RISE) training for USAID staff worldwide. She holds a PhD in Health Policy and Management from Tulane University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for her doctoral studies. She is the lead author of the WHO's "Delivered by Women, led by Men" report and a co-editor of "Women Leaders in Global Health: Power and Transformation" book. Mehr holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Pakistan, and an MBA from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan. She is excited to be an incoming 2025 WomenLift Health North American Leadership Journey Fellow! Her personal goals include focusing on her fitness and raising her 1-year-old son to grow up as a feminist leader.

All Sessions by Dr. Mehr Manzoor

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

[Workshop] Disrupting Harmful Narratives: Gender Transformative Leadership Skills

Led by: John Hopkins University.

Organizations perpetuate harmful narratives which disproportionately disadvantage women. Disrupting harmful narratives is gender transformational. These narratives include:

· Emotions should be separated from work.
· Conflict is negative and we should avoid it.
· You must negotiate.
· You must be authentically a woman or authentically a leader – but you cannot be both.
· You have imposter syndrome.

Gender-responsive, transformative leadership strives to mainstream gender into the “process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, in all areas and at all levels”. It’s not just about achieving gender equality, but also about equipping women and men with the tools to change the narrative and challenge and change inequitable systems and structures.

This workshop seeks to address these harmful narratives and asks participants to consider alternatives which they can incorporate into their own leadership, now. Since women’s leadership initiatives shouldn’t be about ‘fixing women’ but rather ‘transforming harmful systems’ - we start this workshop there. We aren’t equipping women with skills to help them conform, but rather, to dismantle oppressive organizational systems. The approach will also provide for context-specific lenses. Participants will first be asked to assess what isn’t working for them, in their context, in their organizations. Not everything is equally transformative (or feasible) in every space.

While all conference participants are welcome, this session might be particularly useful for emerging women leaders and male allies.

The workshop will include brief presentations and practical demonstrations. Participants will break into groups of two or three to role play, practice, and apply new strategies to different narratives. The session will conclude with a reflection period, providing space for participants to share their experiences and insights, and brainstorm ways to integrate new ideas into their leadership moving forward.

1. Dr. Anna Kalbarczyk, Associate Scientist, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
2. Dr. Rosemary Morgan, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
3. Dr. Mehr Manzoor, Founder & CEO, BeyondParity; DEIA Consultant, EnCompass LLC
4. Dr Choolwe Nkwemu Jacobs, Country Lead - Women in Global Health Zambia
5. Meagan Harrison, Research Associate II, Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health