Gender Scan of an Organization: a tool to assess Gender Sensitivity of an Organization
TOOL FOR GENDER SCAN OF AN ORGANISATION
Before development organizations can ensure gender-responsive outcomes on the outside, they must first work on the inside of their organization. An organizational gender scan is one way to analyze where an organization’s strengths lie, and also which procedures may require adjustment to ensure the bureaucracy itself and does not undermine gender mainstreaming.
To gain further insight into the functioning of the organization and viewpoints within the organization, it is required specifically to examine:
· The organizational mandate,
· The organizational culture and structure, and
· Human resources.
Depending on the level of seniority or the position of those involved in conducting a gender scan, actions can be planned or recommended to readjust the organization to become more gender responsive. It is recommended to do this scanning exercise with different people (at different levels) from the same organization or people who understand the organization well.
Steps by step approach
Working with a team of people within the organization (including management), organize a schedule for an organizational scan. The entire process may take several days because a lot of thought and information is needed for the process to be successful (or the process to get started?).
Part I - Identifying viewpoints and functions
1. Read through the points below to ensure and understand how the organizational gender scan matrix needs to be developed. For an organization to be able to function three crucial elements are needed:
a. Mission mandate: meaning goals and strategies, including all the managerial processes to realize that goal.
b. Organizational structure: meaning clarity on tasks, responsibilities and authorities within the organization, ways of working, flow of information and communication and learning within the organization and between external actors
c. Human resources: relating to staff recruitment, staff development, performance appraisal and non-financial reward and incentive systems, attitudinal issues.
2. To gain further insight into the functioning of the organization, different viewpoints of the organisation should be identified and discussed:
a. How are social, technical and financial resources organized in order to produce the desired output in the most efficient manner? (We call this the technical point of view of an organization)
b. Who influences whom and about what? (This question relates to power and resource allocation and to who reaps the benefits. We call this the political point of view of an organization.)
c. Who talks to whom about what?
(This question relates to the relations network, values, standards, beliefs and interpretations shared by staff.
We call this the cultural point of view of an organization)
3. When putting the three crucial elements: a mission mandate; the organizational structure; and human resources and the three viewpoints: technical point of view; political point of view; and cultural point of view in the form of a framework, nine building blocks of an organization can be identified. Each block outlined below has points related to the viewpoint and the elements, mission, structure or human resources.
Part II - Gender Scan and ranking
To make a quick organizational gender scan grade each of the answers to the questions either 1 for high scoring: 2 for medium scoring, or: 3 for low scoring.
Mission/Mandate: refers to the goal and strategy, including all the managerial processes needed to realize the goal.
Block 1: Policies and action
· Are mission and mandate of the organization based on a thorough analysis of the context, including gender relations?
· Does the organization have a clear policy which includes a gender policy?
· Does the gender policy include an activity plan with time frame [e.g. moments for monitoring and evaluation] and allocation of responsibilities?
· Are adequate financial resources allocated for the implementation of the gender policy?
· Does the organization conduct its monitoring, evaluation and strategic planning in a gender disaggregated manner?
· Does the product of the organization contribute to empower women and changing unequal gender relations at target group levels?
Block 2: Policy Influence
· Do management and board take responsibility for policy development and implementation in the field of gender?
· Does the management promote internal consultations on issues related to policy development and implementation?
· Are there any interactions with external stakeholders, such as beneficiaries [women and men], pressure/interest groups, researchers, consultants, gender networks and institutes, politicians, donor agencies, etc?
· Are opinions of external stakeholders valued and taken seriously by management?
Block 3: Organizational Culture
· Does gender fit into the image of the organization according to staff?
· Does everyone feel ownership over the gender policy?
· Do women within the organization, and among beneficiaries, perceive the organization to be woman friendly?
· Does the organization comply with gender sensitive behavior, for example in terms of the language used, jokes and comments made, images and materials displayed and procedures on sexual harassment?
· Does the organization have a reputation of integrity and competence on gender issues? For example among women's organizations and [outside] individuals with commitment to gender issues?
Organizational structure: tasks, responsibilities and authorities within the organization; ways of working and the way people are grouped and coordinated to accomplish the tasks: flow of information, communication and learning within the organization and between the organization and external network.
Block 4: Tasks and responsibility
· Are tasks and responsibilities in the field of gender clearly demarcated?
· Are there effective mechanisms for coordination, consultation and organizational gender learning between various components of the organization, both horizontally and vertically?
· Is there sufficient information provided to do the job well?
· Is staff with specific gender expertise and responsibilities placed at key positions in the organization?
· Is the existing structure [e.g. women's/gender unit versus on or more individuals at decentralized locations, or one full-time staff member versus several part-time staff members] the most appropriate one?
Block 5: Decision Making
· Are decisions being made on the basis of monitoring and evaluation exercises and discussions among others in the field of gender?
· Is staff, including gender specialists, involved in decision making processes?
· Are decisions [in the field of gender] dealt with in a timely manner?
· Are conflicts in the workplace dealt with adequately, for example around issues of sexual harassment, dealing with resistance to gender or side effects of affirmative action?
Block 6: Cooperation and Learning
· Does the organization promote teamwork, involving both women and men and including gender focal persons?
· Do staff members support each other in problem solving and identification of new challenges in the field of gender?
· Does the organization promote exchange, collaboration and other forms of interaction with women's organizations and organizations / institutions / individuals active in the field of gender?
· Are new, innovative ideas and practices welcomed, reflected upon and incorporated into existing practices?
Human resources: staff recruitment, staff development, performance appraisal, non-financial reward and incentives systems and attitudinal issues.
Block 7: Staff and expertise
· Is management committed to promoting female representation at all levels of the organization, including the board?
· Is this commitment translated into concrete targets and time frame?
· Is new staff selected on the basis of gender sensitivity and capacity to deal with gender issues in very practical terms?
· Do men and women receive equal wages for equal work?
· Are job descriptions clearly defined (as far as gender is concerned)?
· Are gender issues discussed during performance appraisal interviews?
· Is there a gradual increase of gender expertise among all staff members? E.g. as a result of training?
Block 8: Room for maneuver
· Does the organization allow space for staff who wishes to organize around parts of their identity (e.g. sex, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual preference, physical ability)?
· Does the organization have an adequate infrastructure to enable female staff to carry out their work (e.g. in relation to safe working environment, toilet facilities, and transport arrangements on working hours)?
· Is good performance being rewarded, including in the field of gender. E.g. by making good practices available to others, both inside and outside the organization, or by congratulating individual staff members?
· Does staff value different styles of working, e.g. men and women in nontraditional fields of work, more formal or less formal working environments, leadership’s styles, ways of chairing meetings etc.?
· Are interesting career opportunities offered to both women and men?
Block 9: Attitude
· Is staff enthusiastic about the work they do?
· Is staff committed to implementation of the gender policy?
· Is staff open to new ideas and innovations and is there a willingness to change practices?
· Are gender taken seriously and discussed openly by men and women?
· Is stereotyping [e.g. 'those gender blind men’ or ‘those feminists addressed and countered by individual staff members?
Part III - Calculate an average
The next step is to calculate an average per block. This way you can identify which blocks (areas) are stronger and which ones are weaker?
Part IV - Discuss internal changes
Discuss any internal changes that are currently taking place? Are there any external factors influencing the organization?
Part V- Discuss strategies for change
Discuss strategies for change. In which block do you want to start? What activities are required for change?
Part VI – presentation of results
How can you present the results of the organizational gender scan in an attractive way for other colleagues (and management)?
*Source: Sprenger & Groverman (1996)