Step 2: Analysing and assessing the status quo in research funding bodies

The best starting point for developing an effective set of measures is a thorough understanding of what your organisation is currently doing in terms of promoting gender equality, internally and with regard to external stakeholders, such as applicants and reviewers or panel/board members. After assessing the status quo of your organisation, you will have an overview of your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses concerning gender equality. Based on these results, you will be able to develop clear objectives and a set of targeted measures for your gender equality plan (GEP) (step 3).

The comprehensiveness of this initial analysis will depend on the resources available and on the data you can collect already or plan to collect in the future. Make sure to assess the human and financial resources that you have access to in order to undertake this task. Identify internal supporters (e.g. gender experts, data providers), but consider other possible external resources as well, as suggested in step 1 (‘Find support’).

Before starting the analysis, locate potential areas where gender inequalities might be an issue in your organisation; check the overview of gender inequalities in the funding cycle here.

Below you can find the main aspects that you need to consider in order to analyse and assess the gender equality status quo in your research funding body. Some details on how to perform the analysis are also provided. However, the specific methodological approach needs to be developed based on the available human and financial resources, the technical capacities and the available competences in your team, as well as the context of your organisation.

Videos are available that introduce and support the use of relevant online tools for implementing gender equality.

  • The EU-funded project SPEAR prepared video presentations to help practitioners understand the steps involved in the implementation of a GEP. The videos are based on the steps provided in this GEAR step-by-step guide. Watch the videos on steps 1 and 2 to get a better understanding of how the process works and what to consider in these steps. Note that there are also tasks for you to perform at the end of some of the videos, to check your understanding of the topics.
  • The EU-funded project ACT developed the GEAM tool, which provides a number of useful resources (questionnaires, etc.). In order to make it most beneficial for practitioners, training videos on how to use the GEAM tool were produced. Watch the videos to tap the full potential of this tool. 

Useful tools

  • Science Europe published a short guideline that supports research bodies to specify data collection and design measures.
  • The Global Research Council published a report on sex-disaggregated data covering 112 countries and 128 funding bodies referring to applications and evaluation of proposals and to the integration of the sex/gender dimension into research content. An intersectional perspective is provided by addressing funding bodies in sub-Saharan Africa, America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa.
  • The EU-funded project ‘Promoting gender balance and inclusion in research, innovation and training’ (PLOTINA) also provides a toolkit for both research-performing organisations and research funding organisations to support them in their aim of promoting gender equality. The toolkit is divided into four phases; the first phase addresses the planning and implementation of a gender audit. It provides checklists for how to be prepared, which data (quantitative and qualitative) to collect, and how to analyse and report the data.
  • Check the resources for research funding bodies developed and compiled by the EU-funded project ‘Supporting the promotion of equality in research and academia’ (SUPERA), including recorded webinars and GEP examples from research funding bodies.
  • The EU-funded project ‘Taking a reflexive approach to gender equality for institutional transformation’ (TARGET) produced a gender equality audit tool that consists of specific guidelines for practitioners (and also funding bodies) on how to conduct a participatory gender equality audit.
  • The EU-funded project SAGE (Horizon 2020) provides numerous useful resources on the status quo assessment of organisations, including primary data collection tools and a template for the collection of gender-disaggregated secondary data.
  • The ‘Evaluation framework for promoting gender equality in research and innovation’ (EFFORTI) toolbox contains measurable indicators at team, organisation and system levels. The toolbox will show you which indicators to use to measure the manifold effects of different gender equality measures.
  • The ‘Gendered innovations’ website provides recommendations, examples, case studies and tools regarding sex and gender analysis in research content for various scientific fields.
  • The report Gendered Innovations 2: How inclusive analysis contributes to research and innovation provides researchers and innovators with methodological tools for sex, gender and intersectional analysis. It also presents concrete case studies, showcasing projects funded under Horizon 2020 and addressing areas such as health, artificial intelligence and robotics, energy, transport, marine science and climate change, urban planning, agriculture, fair taxation and venture funding, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Manuals with guidelines on the integration of sex and gender analysis into research contents, recommendations for curricula development and indicators is a report by the EU-funded research policy initiative GENDER-NET. The aim of the report is to provide national/regional research funding and research-performing organisations with the know-how to integrate sex and gender considerations into policies, programmes, plans and strategies, and to raise awareness about the importance of sex and gender in R & I.

Useful resources for data collection and analysis

  • Besides publishing relevant statistics every 3 years, She Figures also provides an accompanying She Figures Handbook, in which practitioners can find methodological guidance on the calculation of indicators included in the most recent She Figures publication.
  • EIGE also provides a good overview of how a gender audit works and which questions it should focus on.
  • Baltic Gender developed an updated version of its handbook of gender indicators, which describes gender-sensitive indicators and provides information on the rationale, the data needed and the computation method, and initial ideas for data analysis and critical issues.
  • The EU-funded project ‘Gender diversity impact – improving research and innovation through gender diversity’ (GEDII) designed a gender diversity index based on the share of women in different positions, by age and other factors. A self-assessment tool was also developed; you can enter the relevant numbers for your organisation directly on the website and receive your gender diversity score automatically. This score can be calculated repeatedly to monitor change within an organisation.