8. Monitor, evaluate and review

Regular monitoring, evaluation and review of your objectives, time frames and milestones will help ensure that your organisation’s gender equality strategy stays on track. Evaluations make it possible to assess whether and why some objectives take longer than others to flourish.

A primary method of assessing whether the execution of a gender equality strategy is producing the intended impact will be to monitor, measure and regularly report the outcomes of processes over specific time frames. Ideally, the mechanisms to track and report should be in place before the strategy implementation begins, to enable measurement of results before, during and after specific initiatives and interventions.

A gender equality strategy should also include some detail on how, when and by whom it will be evaluated and reviewed, including how measures of progress will be communicated.

The diagnostic process will enable your organisation to establish a benchmark against which performance can be measured over time. Just as you use data to complete the diagnostic process, it is also important that you continue to collect and expand your data collection. Data analysis is a core component of the ongoing monitoring and evaluation process.

Different objectives might have different evaluation time frames. For example, for some indicators ongoing evaluation and review can occur in micro stages such as monthly, quarterly, or at key cyclical stages such as annual review, pre-budgeting and annual reporting.

Review continues throughout your overarching strategy time frame. Three to five years is usual, and each cyclical review, such as an annual review, can feed into adjustment and improvement of the strategy. There are some questions below that may help to guide your review. The Diagnostic Tool can be used at any time to help you benchmark and track your progress.

Questions to help guide your review:

  • How is the organisation progressing with each of the measurable objectives in the strategy?
  • Is there enough data to reliably assess progress?
  • Where lack of progress or other issues are identified, how can these be addressed or overcome through adjustment of priorities or resourcing?
  • What activities or actions should we stop, start, change or continue?
  • Does the strategy (or do the individual objectives) need to be adjusted in light of experience? What are the implications of these adjustments?

What next?

  • Reprioritise initiatives due to changes in business strategy, funding, customer need or new opportunities
  • Reset resourcing because of funding changes or team changes
  • Celebrate completion of an initiative or program
  • Add an entirely new idea that has come out of your consultations or an emerging opportunity.

See the full guide below for examples of metrics to support the measurement of the strategy’s effectiveness.

Evaluation

An evaluation occurs after the deadline for achievement of each objective.

Questions to ask include:

  • Has the organisation achieved the objectives within the gender strategy?
  • If not, why not – and what is the lesson from each success, partial success or failure?
  • How should the next gender strategy be adapted to include previous lessons to maximise the chances of success?

It may also be helpful to cross-reference gender strategy outcomes with performance in:

  • WGEA Gender Equality Indicators (GEIs), and minimum standards (applicable to non-public sector employers with 500 or more employees in their corporate structure)
  • Competitor Analysis Benchmark Reports
  • WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) submission
  • Diversity and Inclusion Awards (International and National)
  • Support from advocacy groups.

There is no correct way to document and display your gender equality strategy. Some organisations may produce a detailed, multi-page document while others will elect to produce a high-level strategy on a page. Some organisations may do both. Condensing your strategy into a summary version makes it easy to read and use by all stakeholders. See the full guide for examples of using one type of format: a strategy on a page.