The team now has 9 women and 5 men.

The leadership team behind the World Health Organization (WHO) is likely not something many people think about on a regular basis, but it's undeniably having an impact on their lives.

In an announcement made this week, WHO's director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appointed the most diverse group in charge of the planet's health policies to date, with members representing 14 countries, every region covered by WHO, and 60 per cent women. 

"The new WHO senior leadership team reflects my deep-held beliefs: we need top talent, gender equity & geographical diversity to deliver," Ghebreyesus tweeted as he announced the team.

The doctor, who was Ethiopia's Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012, has been talking about the importance of more women at the forefront of the extensive health organization since his leadership campaign, saying he would ensure WHO practices are "gender sensitive," would put in place flexible working arrangements for female staff and that female entry level staff advance into leadership positions at "comparable rates to their male counterparts," according to Devex.

But what does it actually mean to have women in these positions? Well first of all, the WHO is the primary body providing research and leadership on health matters, and are the ones who decide, for example, what needs to be done during outbreaks such as the Zika virus.

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