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Baseline Data Collection

The first step is to establish baseline data, which can be used to measure milestones, for benchmarking, and for further analysis. A range of sector specific and generic resources that can be adapted to organisational needs are available. Many of these resources are geared to large organisations so we have distilled the resources to three key questions to suit the range of organisations in our study where the majority of respondents (72%) were working in organisations of more than 100 employees but close to a third (28%) were working in organizations of fewer than 100 employees, and 12 per cent in organisations of less than 20 employees, reflecting the diversity of the sector and the range of organisational types and range of strategies that might be relevant to improving gender equity and diversity.

Key question #1 Where are the women currently?

Collect data on gender profiles in:

  • Patterns of attraction recruitment and selection
  • The current staff profile by: unit, position type and level
  • Employment contract type – permanent, contract, full-time, part-time
  • Levels and comparative base salaries and salary packages

Key question #2 Are we retaining our women scientists?

Retention data to be collected for women and men to identify who is staying and who is leaving:

  • By position (and level)
  • By age
  • By length of service
  • By area/business unit

Key question #3 Are we developing our female staff?

Data on:

  • Number/percentage promoted and length of time between promotions by gender
  • Number/percentage of laboratory heads/ CIs/project leaders by gender
  • Senior leadership roles by gender.

The analysis of this initial data then requires a further question in each of the three areas – are we satisfied with what this data tells us? What do we identify as priorities for change? [see Diagnosing Priorities for Improvement]


Women in the Science Research Workforce: Identifying and Sustaining the Diversity Advantage, was funded as an ARC Linkage project 2011-2014 (LP110200480).
Project Cis were Professor Sharon Bell and Professor Lyn Yates. The project was hosted by the University of Melbourne.