Job opening: Director, Operations & People – WAN-IFRA Women in News

Position: Director, Operations & People – WAN-IFRA Women in News
Engagement length: 1 February 2021 through to 31 January 2022
Engagement type: (Milestone-based contract; equivalent of 90% input)
Location: Must be located in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe or Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine

WAN-IFRA Women in News (WIN) aims to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. In parallel, WIN partners with media organisations to identify industry-led solutions to create environments that embrace equality, and navigate the transition to digital to build toward greater financial and operational stability. 

Our Vision is a media industry in which women and men are equal. Equal in the way they are portrayed in news content and equal in their professional roles and treatment in the newsroom within stable media organisations.

Our Values:

We champion equality
We strive for excellence
We empower people
We collaborate to drive change
We embrace our differences as our superpower
We are a supportive community 

Women in News has been running capacity building programmes and in-house training and coaching for 10 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 5 years in the Arab region via support from the Swedish International Cooperation Development Agency. Most recently we launched in Myanmar and Vietnam as part of WAN-IFRA’s strengthening independent programme, which is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We will expand activities further to Indonesia and The Philippines in Q1 2021. Each region is led by a regional director and their supporting extended team. A director of digital and e-learning leads WIN digital activities and products. A number of key experts, reporting into the leadership committee which also includes the executive director, manage communications, MREL and research/monitoring activities.

WAN-IFRA Women in News is seeking a seasoned manager to help recruit and cultivate a growing team, and implement an ambitious 2021 programme calendar. They will have a key position in the senior leadership team, working closely with the executive director and other members of the leadership team to implement the WIN programme in 15 markets throughout Africa, the Arab Region and South East Asia and build our growing reputation as a leader in the gender equality and media freedom space. 

Position Details

The Director, Operations & People will oversee the day-to-day operations of the WIN programme, identifying and adjusting for blockages to ensure the division leads are able to successfully meet their targets as outlined in the 2021 strategic objectives and corresponding implementation plans for both Sida and NMFA-funded Women in News activities.  They will lead the finance & administration function, working directly with the WAN-IFRA Finance Team to ensure donor and internal standards are upheld pertaining to team recruitment and procurement as well as the daily financial management of the programme using and improving upon existing online and offline financial management systems. They will create and implement people management procedures to motivate and empower the programme team including establishing and rolling out of an onboarding/orientation system, annual review system, internal coaching, mentoring and skills training for staff. Throughout, they will ensure WIN values and leadership principles are clearly communicated to and embodied by all members of the team. 

Specific deliverables of this role in 2021 include:

  • Day-to-day collaborative management of Women in News’ overall operations and programming, including core organizational and project workflows to ensure administrative efficiency, compliance, and quality control of program delivery;
  • Lead collaborative process improvement projects to improve organizational performance, including: strengthening operations, refining recruitment, hiring and onboarding processes, strengthening management practices, streamlining procurement processes;
  • In coordination with Executive Director, and in direct management of the WIN Financial Manager and Knowledge & Systems Manager, serve as the interface between Finance & Administration to continually improve financial management systems, knowledge management, and internal communications structures and practices, identifying new approaches and tools to increase team collaboration and efficiencies and overcome workflow blockages;
  • Guide and mentor programme managers and other team members on operational efficiencies and monitoring and evaluation tactics, with special support for operational risk management;
  • Manage annual team goal setting and planning processes to ensure alignment with overall WIN organizational strategy;
  • Support managers in facilitating key goal-setting, planning and reporting activities:
  • Lead organizational goal setting process and monitor progress
  • Institutionalize annual business rhythm (scheduling and calendaring)
  • Implement performance dashboard to track progress against strategic goals
  • Ensure alignment between individual, team and organizational goals;
  • Support directors’ ongoing process of designing new programmes that reflect organisational-wide strategy, annual cross-organisational priorities, and team/regional priorities;
  • Oversee internal knowledge management processes
  • Facilitate the development of WIN Programmes’ best practices and ensure they are socialized/internalized and followed across the organization
  • Work closely with Directors and Managers to ensure that relevant documents are updated and available on the appropriate platforms
  • Convene team focal points to support the use of information platforms on a quarterly basis;
  • Spearhead recruitment, onboard, talent management and support human capital development efforts and processes to:
  • Strengthen recruiting and onboarding process and pipelines;
  • Formalize mechanisms for engaging experts/consultants for the WIN Accelerator, WIN Advisory, WIN Insights, WIN Future Leaders;
  • Spearhead coach sourcing and internal coach-training and coach-development for all markets;
  • Spearhead capacity development interventions for team members (mentoring, training, internal mentor coaching and career coaching, team building etc.)
  • Facilitate implementation of exit interviews for outgoing team members by managers/team leads;
  • Facilitate individual and team recognition and reward system based on outstanding achievements as would be determined by the leadership group.


  • Energy, initiative, intellect, flexibility, high emotional intelligence, team player with public relations disposition;
  • Ability to motivate and collaborate with others as a key member of a regionally and culturally diverse team;
  • Strong leadership disposition, service orientation and robust experience in leading others (individuals, teams/groups) to achieve common goals that catalyse positive change in organisations;
  • Superior organisational, strategic, self-management skills and the ability to motivate when working remotely and/or independently with long-lead deadlines;
  • Ability to conceptualise, develop and implement projects end to end, with exceptional time and budget management skills, and with an innate capacity to oversee and manage multiple projects and competing deadlines;
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and influencing skills that inspire trust and confidence with a wide variety of people within cross-cultural settings and diverse groups/teams;
  • Aptness in problem analyses and resolution; 
  • Results-driven, tenacious and adept at tactical execution of projects and familiar with complex, changing environments and application of international standards in service delivery;
  • Experience in assessing needs, designing/delivering high-value organisational development interventions;
  • First-hand experience in building capacity of team members and solid facilitation skills that deliver high-impact learning benefits for managers and team members; 
  • Excellent financial management skills with first-hand experience in implementing and monitoring huge and high-level budgets and ensuring efficient and effective use of resources for delivery of programs;
  • Knowledge/application of change management, organizational development principles/methodologies e.g. culture change etc.;
  • Experience as head of finance and administration in large-scale development or capacity building initiatives in a not-for-profit or government-led programme in Sub-Saharan Africa or the Arab Region;
  • Deep understanding of people and performance management approaches and systems, with an ability to tap into intuitive leadership and motivational practices (robust experience as a professional coach an asset);
  • Established networks within the media and gender/diversity CSO space, as well as academia (universities/technical colleges) in minimum of 1-2 of the WIN markets;
  • Excellent written and spoken English;
  • Confident numeracy, written & IT skills, excellent interpersonal skills, analytical reasoning;
  • Direct experience in the media industry an asset.

WAN-IFRA Women in News is committed to diversity and inclusion, and creating an environment which embraces collaboration and equality. Women, non-binary, LGBTQI+, disabled and visible minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply, as these groups are underrepresented throughout the media industry.

Interested applicants should send their CVs to by Wednesday 27 January 2021.

Please include the title of the position in the subject line of your email.  Please note, only successful candidates will be contacted.


WAN-IFRA is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers, representing more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. WAN-IFRA is unique in its position as a global industry association with a human rights mandate to defend and promote media freedom, and the economic independence of news media as an essential condition of that freedom. 

WAN-IFRA applies a dual approach to supporting media freedom. It addresses political and structural constraints to media freedom through advocacy and at the same time works to strengthen the capacity and networks of the media and their representative institutions. This dual approach allows WAN-IFRA to address challenges to media freedom from multiple perspectives, leveraging experiences and synergies between advocacy and development projects, partnerships and the wider expertise of WAN-IFRA’s international community to encourage meaningful change.

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