Step 2: Analysing and assessing the status quo in your organisation

The best starting point for developing an effective set of measures is to have a thorough understanding of how your organisation is currently doing regarding the status quo of gender equality. After assessing the status quo of your organisation, you will have an overview of its 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).

Before going deeper into this subject, it is worth mentioning that the status quo assessment is also sometimes referred to as the baseline or initial assessment. Know that all of these terms are used for the initial analysis that helps you understand the status quo in your organisation and that can be used as a baseline to assess the impact of your measures.

The comprehensiveness of this initial analysis will depend on the resources available. Make sure to assess the human and financial resources that you have access to in order to undertake this task. Identify internal assets (e.g. gender experts), but consider other possible external resources as well (e.g. funding, local partnerships), as suggested in step 1 (‘Find support’).

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 organisation. Some details on how to conduct the analysis are also provided. However, the specific methodological approach needs to be developed based on the available human and financial resources, and the technical capacities of and available competences in your team, as well as the context of your organisation. Consider also the five levels for an effective GEP (context, structure, personnel, power and culture) in your status quo assessment.

In order to view videos and webinars or further tools and resources on the topics discussed in step 2, switch between the respective tabs. Otherwise, click below to continue to the next step and learn how to set up your GEP. You can also go back to the previous step.

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

  • The EU 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.

GEAR tool – steps 1 and 2

  • The EU project ACT developed the GEAM tool, which provides a number of useful resources (questionnaires, etc.). In order to make it more 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.

General guidelines and examples of indicators

  • 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.
  • In the course of the EU-funded project ‘Gendering the academy and research: combating career instability and asymmetries (GARCIA), a working paper was produced entitled ‘Supporting early career researchers through gender action plans – A design and methodological toolkit’. This working paper provides useful checklists and inputs for how to carry out data collection and analyses. Moreover, it provides examples from other organisations and includes various interview guides.
  • For further examples of how data was collected in other organisations, see Structural Transformation to Achieve Gender Equality in Sciences – Guidelines (pp. 29–34) produced by the EU-funded project ‘Structural transformation to achieve gender equality in science’. In this project, strategies for structural change were launched in a number of research organisations, with the guidelines being written based on the experiences in these organisations.
  • The She Figures Handbook 2021 can strengthen your capacity to systematically produce meaningful data, as it provides methodological guidance on the calculation of indicators included in the She Figures 2021 publication. Organised by data source, information provided on each indicator includes a brief definition, rationale, computation method, and comments or critical issues for the reader to note.
  • EIGE’s gender statistics database provides another tool for comparing relevant indicators across countries. The same applies to the data dashboards of the ‘Gender equality in the European research area community to innovate policy implementation’ (GENDERACTION) project.

Guidelines for participatory gender audits

  • The EU-funded structural change project ‘Gender in science and technology lab’ (Genis Lab) provides detailed instructions for carrying out a participatory gender audit, which is an action research methodology that helps to map an organisation from a gender equality perspective. This methodology combines an objective observation of facts and data with a more in-depth and qualitative reflection on individual and collective rules, behaviours and beliefs, and their impact on gender equality. Download the complete Genis Lab guidelines and tools for institutional change and read pp. 29–55.
  • The EU-funded project ‘Taking a reflexive approach to gender equality for institutional transformation’ (TARGET) that consists of specific guidelines for practitioners on how to conduct a participatory gender equality audit.
  • The EU-funded project ‘Gender equality actions in research institutions to transform gender roles’ (GEARING ROLES) developed an up-to-date (2019) resource directory that lists relevant resources for planning and performing a gender audit as a first step towards designing a GEP.
  • The EU-funded project ‘Gender equality in information science and technology’ (EQUAL-IST) created a report on the methodology for participatory gender audits in ICT. The methodology involves a mixed strategy integrating quantitative and qualitative techniques adapted to the specific context of ICT / information science and technology research institutions.

Ready-to-use tools

  • The EU-funded project SAGE (Horizon 2020) provides a number of useful resources on the status quo assessment of organisations, including a summary of 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 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 help them in their aim of promoting gender equality. The toolkit is divided into four phases, with the first phase addressing the planning and implementation of a gender audit. It provides checklists on how to be prepared, which data (quantitative and qualitative) to collect, and how to analyse and report the data.
  • 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.
  • The UniSAFE project provides a survey to collect data from staff and students on the prevalence, determinants and consequences of gender-based violence in universities and research organisations.