It’s time to talk about a phenomenon that may seem obvious to some and surprising to others: The global development whisper network. Many women who work in the fields of international development and humanitarian assistance primarily rely on the whisper network to vent about incidents of gender bias, discrimination, and sexism.

Across cultures, many women are discouraged from a very young age from voicing complaints and are instead rewarded for being “perfect.” As a result, we fear being the squeaky wheel, and rightly so. Women, and most of all women of color, are emotionally exhausted by not being heard or believed about the prevalence of bias.

Over the course of our careers in global development, we and other women express the desire to be heard. We want a way to share stories that is anonymous, safe, and empowering.

Just over a year ago, Quantum Impact — a social impact organization that believes diverse and inclusive work environments contribute to better development outcomes — began collecting stories from women working in development. Around the same time, Devex began ramping up it's reporting on sexual violence in aid, leading to the not-so-quiet launch of #AidToo, a campaign to expose the breadth and depth of sexual harassment and violence in aid.

Global development, like most sectors of the economy, is slow to realize change in terms of gender, racial, and ethnic makeup of leadership. Previously, our understanding of the challenge was anecdotal, as almost no data existed on the diversity of leadership across U.S.-based international development organizations. That is why Quantum Impact is releasing the results of a survey of leadership that looks at gender, racial, and ethnic diversity across 200 organizations in the international development field, in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8.

Read the full article about #GlobalDevWomen by Kate Warren and Sarah Grausz at Devex.