The main objective of Task 3 of the Gender Gap project is to collect a sample of initiatives that aim to address the gender gap in Science and Mathematics and organise these initiatives as a searchable database. In general, initiatives established to meet this challenge are broad ranging from intervention programmes in primary, secondary and tertiary education to industry-based interventions targeted at the workplace. After we source initiatives, we categorise them according to several dimensions such as Target Level, Evidence of Effectiveness, Impact, and Gender Objective. For the latter dimension we use the Science, Technology and Innovation Gender Objectives List (STI GOL) developed by UNESCO. The STI GOL was used as a conceptual schema to capture elements of “good practice” regarding each initiative. Users of the database will be able to access information about a variety of initiatives so that they can gain a greater understanding of gender initiatives available globally, an awareness of the initiatives that are available in their region, and the ability to source initiatives that have measured impact.
We currently have 50 gender initiatives from 39 countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, Japan, India, China, Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Bulgaria, Mexico, United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Croatia, Portugal, Macedonia).
We are still looking for initiatives to include in our database, so if you would like to include an initiative please send us an email at email@example.com.
There are many initiatives that aim to address the gender gap, but we need to ask how many of these initiatives actually measure the impact of their programmes based on their project goals. An important aspect of our database is to identify initiatives that represent “good practice”. To date, only (14%) of the initiatives in our database have measured the impact of their programme, and a further 8% plan to measure impact. For project managers, measuring impact provides information about the overall effectiveness of a programme and insight about further improving its outcomes. Measuring impact provides information to potential participants about the value of a programme. Providing impact evidence demonstrates to stakeholders, policy makers and funding institutions that a particular programme can contribute to positive change regarding the gender gap in Science and Mathematics.
We reviewed several existing databases in order to gain insight into features we should include in our Gender Gap database. From our review we observed an inverse relationship between the amount of information included about an initiative and the number of initiatives in a database: there was either a lot of information about a few initiatives or minimal information about a large number of initiatives. We therefore chose to include a moderate number of initiatives with key information categorising their dimensions and a web link to the initiative. Because ease of navigation of the list of initiatives was deemed an important feature of the database we will incorporate drop down menus so that users can select criteria, such as a country. As an aim of the data base is to highlight initiatives that display best practice, a rating system using a “star” symbol will indicate initiatives that have measured impact. It is our intention that the database will grow, therefore we will include the option for users to submit an initiative of their own.
Our immediate work aims to focus our efforts on sourcing South American initiatives. If you know of any gender initiatives in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Dominica, Nicaragua or Saint Kitts and Nevis please let us know by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We also aim to get the current form of the database live so we will be working closely with technical support in the coming months.