Get started on research
Research is the first step in designing a change scenario.
We use numbers and patterns all the time – to track progress, drive decisions, and ensure accountability. This is also true for gender equity. In the corporate sector, law, medicine, and academia, factual data created momentum for change.
Unlike individual complaints or a petition, objective data is a more neutral instrument. But be prepared for pushback. Some people resist change in the status quo. They will avoid data collection and uncomfortable questions. You may need to negotiate the focus of your research and how the results will be delivered.
Start counting and look for patterns
Dig into the facts. Is your organization a true meritocracy? How do you know? Who’s on the leadership roster? Who sits at decision-making tables? Has the gender salary gap been closed?
Look for patterns. How are women and men promoted? How are people tapped for committees, stretch assignments, leadership development, and speaking engagements? How does work-life policy intersect with career pathways? These patterns surface subtle factors that affect gender equity and women’s advancement. Your analysis, supported by numbers and patterns, conveys a compelling message: We are going to make real change, pegged to measurable goals.
Start the conversation
When the time comes to report, show trend lines over time, highlight signs of progress, and point to possible solutions. Encourage a spirit of learning. How do these findings square with our assumptions? What opportunities might we explore? With objective data in hand, teams and organizational leaders can experiment with new behaviors, structures, and policies.