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Diagnosing Priorities for Improvement

Disadvantage is cumulative, and requires a multi-faceted approach to generate change. The combined analysis of the baseline data and diagnostic data will show where there are strengths on which to build, where systemic discrimination may be occurring, and will assist in targeting appropriate initiatives across the organisation.

Where baseline data shows that women are underrepresented further data is required to determine what the underlying dynamics might be and which strategies are likely to be most effective. This data should be both quantitative and qualitative in nature.

Recruitment Data

  • Breakdown of applicants for positions advertised by role and gender for past five years
  • Shortlisted applicants by role and gender
  • Successful applicants by role and gender
  • Starting salaries by gender

Advancement Opportunities

  • Performance ratings and bonuses by role and gender
  • Workload patterns, including take-up of flexible work options by role and gender
  • Access to professional opportunities and resources, including overseas travel
  • Internal and external research grant participation and outcomes by gender
  • Workloads – administrative workloads, convenorships, pastoral care roles by gender and area
  • Formal mentors assigned by role and gender
  • Sponsorship to participate in leadership programs by gender

Organisational Culture

Most useful data about organisational culture is gained by targeted surveys and focus group discussions. There are a number of useful interrogative frameworks Meyerson & Fletcher (2000) and surveys which can be adapted to suit the particular organisation, including Gender equality indicators GEI 5: Employee consultation or the Organisational Maturity Framework , Neale& Bell (2010) which maps a logical progression to demonstrate the progress being made towards the goals set, in this case to improve gender equity


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.