Gender Analysis Guidelines


Gender analysis is concerned with examining public policies and their outcomes through a gender lens. Conducting a gender analysis is a proactive way to address discrimination through a data and research-based process.  It is a tool to understand gender gaps and create gender equitable policies and programs.  Gender anlaysis highlights best practices to be encouraged or replicated and makes recommendations to address areas in need of improvement.  By promoting general accountability built on measurable standards, this framework and gender analysis tool constitute an innovative approach to ensuring the human rights of women and girls.

Gender analysis focuses on the differences in women's and men's lives, including those which lead to social and economic inequality for women, and applies this understanding to public policy development, service delivery, workforce issues, and budget allocations in an effort to achieve gender parity.  It also recognizes that women's lives are not all the same; the interests that women have in common may be determined as much by their social position or their ethnic identity as by the fact they are women.  Thus, different strategies may be necessary to achieve equitable outcomes for women and men and among different groups of women. 


A)    Introduction

The concept of gender analysis arose from the need to mainstream women's interests while at the same time realizing that women's needs were better understood when viewed in relation to men's needs and roles and to their social, cultural, political, and economic context.  Gender analysis highlights best practices to be encouraged or replicated and makes recommendations to address areas in need of improvement.  Gender analysis also recognizes that women's and men's lives are not all the same; the interests that women have in common and that men have in common may be determined as much by their social position or their ethnic identity as by the fact they are women and men.  Thus, different strategies may be necessary to achieve equitable outcomes depending on the groups involved. 

Gender analysis is concerned with examining public policies and their outcomes through a gender lens.  It focuses on the differences in women's and men's lives, including those which lead to social and economic differences, and applies this understanding to public policy development, service delivery, workforce issues, and budget allocations in an effort to achieve gender parity.

B)  Background and History

The gender analysis methodology arose from a ground-breaking human rights approach adopted in 1998 when the City and County of San Francisco enacted a local ordinance reflecting the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).[1]  CEDAW is also known as the Women’s Human Rights Treaty.  This treaty is an international bill of rights for women mandating the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for women and girls in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil, and legal spheres.  In addition, CEDAW formally recognizes that culture, tradition, and differences in life experiences determine how decisions are made, thereby resulting in the social, economic, and political inequities affecting women and girls throughout our society.

Human rights focus on the respect and dignity of each person, taking a holistic approach to each person’s identity as a woman, minority, parent, person with a disability or other characteristics.  The Women’s Human Rights Treaty and San Francisco’s CEDAW Ordinance have a broad definition of discrimination to protect human rights.  CEDAW defines discrimination against women as any “distinction, exclusion, or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.”[2]  Unlike many discrimination laws that are based on complaints of or reaction to discrimination, the CEDAW Ordinance encourages the utilization of gender analysis as a tool to understand gender gaps and create gender equitable policies and programs.  Conducting a gender analysis is a pro-active way to deal with discrimination through a data and research-based process.

By promoting general accountability built on measurable standards, this framework and gender analysis tool constitute an innovative approach to ensuring the human rights of women and girls.  The San Francisco CEDAW Ordinance requires the use of gender analysis as a preventive tool to identify discrimination and, if identified, to remedy that discrimination.  The gender analysis guidelines are based on the view that critical self-examination is essential for any long-term change.  The analysis looks for trends or patterns according to gender, race, and other identities.  A trend may include an analysis of who is being served, hired, receiving funds, hindered, or helped.
The guidelines provide a framework to document and address the differential impact of budget allocations, services and programs, and employment policies on women and men by gathering quantifiable information and data, examining the data, and then recommending what, if any, practices and policies should change to promote gender equity.  The ultimate aim is not to produce a report, but to look at the trends that emerged from the disaggregated data and put into motion a process that encourages and institutionalizes new ways of thinking about gender equitable resource allocation, programs and services, and employment.

C)  Sex versus Gender

When conducting a gender analysis, it is important to note the difference between a person’s sex and a person's gender.  Sex is the biological difference between women and men.  These biological differences are universal and determined at birth.  Gender is a term that encompasses the roles and responsibilities of women and men that are created in families, social institutions, and cultures.  Because of perceived gender differences and stereotypes, certain roles, traits, and characteristics are assigned or ascribed distinctly and strictly to women or to men.  These roles, attitudes, and values define the behaviors of women and men and the relationships between them.  

Gender stereotyping starts at an early age.  The Mother Goose rhyme, “What are little boys made of? Snips and snails, and puppy-dogs' tails…What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, and everything nice,” sums up perceived gender differences and demonstrates how ingrained these images are.  Gender segregation in the work world and unequal pay[3], often the result of gender stereotypes, are alive and well.  Gender analysis attempts to overcome these deeply ingrained stereotypes to give both genders equal opportunities.  

Being conscious of the difference between sex and gender is significant because perceived gender differences and stereotypes impact the creation, promotion, and success of programs and policies.  The lives and experiences of women and men occur within complex sets of differing social and cultural expectations and thus may require different public policies to achieve gender equality. 

D)  Gender Equality versus Gender Equity

It is also important to understand the difference between gender equality and gender equity.  The terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not one and the same.  Gender equality means that women and men enjoy the same status and conditions and have equal opportunities to realize their potential.  It means giving boys and girls, women and men equal opportunities in the utilization of personal capabilities.  Gender equity applies to the development of policies and the distribution of resources to differently situated women, e.g., race, class, immigration status, language, sexual orientation, disability, and other attributes.  Equity accentuates fairness in process and result, recognizing differences and accommodating them to prevent the continuation of inequitable status quo.  The goal of gender equity is to redress historic discrimination and ensure conditions that will enable women to achieve full equality with men, recognizing that the needs of women and men may differ.  Gender equity works towards equality by leveling the playing field.  Equity can be understood as the means, and equality as the end.  Equity leads to equality.


A)  Background 

1)  Introduction

Gender analysis, similar to strategic planning, begins with a review of your mission and vision incorporating gender outcomes.  Based on your vision, you conduct an environmental scan looking for what is known as disaggregated data.  This data is essential to delivering effective and equitable services, ensuring equitable budget allocations, and creating fair employment practices.  The data is analyzed by gender and other social identities in order to identify the gaps between women and men for any given situation, and to understand and meet the specific needs of all within the context of their social backgrounds.  Strategies for creating gender equitable policies and programs are brainstormed and prioritized, and an action plan and monitoring system are created.

2)  What is Disaggregated Data?

Disaggregated data is demographic information on the beneficiaries or recipients of a policy, program, or practice broken down by sex, race, and other social identities such as but not limited to immigration status, language, sexual orientation, disability, and age.  Often this data is not readily available, so the initial step can entail creating procedures to obtain it.  When available, analyzing this data for trends facilitates the understanding of the links between gender and other social identities.  Again, similar to strategic planning, the collection of data encompasses both quantitative elements such as numbers of clients by social identity as well as qualitative elements, such as constructive dialogue with stakeholders affected by decisions including employees, clients, constituents, and community groups.

Data should be disaggregated by as many characteristics as available.  Disaggregating solely on the basis of gender is often insufficient to reveal all forms of discrimination. For example, if race or sexual orientation is hidden from the analysis, biases can remain undetected. To ensure the fullest cooperation from stakeholders, information on their social identities is usually obtained on a voluntary and confidential basis.

B)  Gender Analysis Guidelines

Gender analysis guidelines provide a framework for how to carry out a gender analysis. They can be utilized in the development and implementation of policies and services.  The guidelines consist of a series of steps and questions that provide an organized approach to gather information necessary to conduct a gender analysis.  They can focus on an entire department or examine just one program, service, budget, or employment area. Not every question in the guidelines will apply to each situation and may need to be adapted and applied to your particular program, service, budget, or employment area.
This is an analytic and interactive process, best done in group sessions with people from various positions and levels to maximize the diversity and depth of ideas and understanding. The process may include a number of sessions over a period of time, consisting of employees (both management and staff) analyzing the material together.
Stakeholder input is an integral part of the gender analysis policy process.  It enables an assessment to be made from the point of view of those who are responsible for, as well as those who are affected by, the policy decisions, practices, or design of services.  Approaches will vary depending on the issue and on who needs to be consulted.  Stakeholder input can be obtained through focus groups, interviews, and surveys.  It may also involve researching and/or benchmarking best practices to create gender equitable outcomes.


To begin the gender analysis, you should have a vision of your desired outcomes.  This includes considering the vision and purpose of your department or program and linking them to the goals of your gender analysis.  What are you trying to accomplish? What is the objective? What is the vision of where you want to end up? What results do you want, e.g., more woman in management? Gender specific services for girls and boys?  A street or park where both women and men feel safe walking at night?
A. Review Gender Equality. Start with a review of the definition of discrimination in the Women’s Human Rights Ordinance, as well as gender equality and gender equity.  Keep these in mind when examining your programs and determining your desired outcomes. The overall goal of gender equality is to redress historic discrimination and ensure conditions that will enable women and men to achieve full equity.
B.  Identify Target.   Identify the department, program, service, budgets, tax/fee, or situation for which you will be doing the analysis. Then ask what is the purpose or aim of this program or budget item? What is the objective or goal? If you are looking at an entire department, look at the mission and vision for the department or program. You may need to do some data collection as outlined in Step 2 to answer these questions.
C. Envision Outcomes.  Envision what your program, department, policy, budget, or employment practice would look like if it explicitly included gender equality. This may entail reframing your vision, purpose, or desired outcomes to ensure that gender is taken into consideration and there are equitable outcomes.  What would the purpose, aim, and outcomes be if they included gender equality? This step is not yet about strategies or options but rather to have you think about what the outcomes would be if they took into account gender equality. If you consider these questions early on, you can concentrate on the big picture while conducting your review thereby making the analysis more targeted and useful to your department or program.
For example, if you offer an afterschool sports program for youth, a gender equality outcome would be to have sports activities geared to both girls and boys, and their respective skills and abilities (e.g. , both softball and baseball) and participants would be a diverse group of roughly even numbers of girls and boys. After determining desired vision/outcomes (Step 1) you would review the reality regarding what sport activities are currently being offered and who is participating to determine if they meet these outcomes (Step 2). If they do meet the outcomes they are identified as best practice, and if they do not you would brainstorm options for improvement (Step 3), choose which would work best and create an action plan to implement (Step 4).


In Step 2, you will be collecting disaggregated data that will be used to determine the current reality of the department, program, or policy you are analyzing (e.g., who is served, who is benefiting, who lacks access, how the budget is allocated). The data will then be analyzed to identify trends and gaps in services or impacts.
A.  Collect Data. The key data you need to collect are those that identify who is affected by the department, program, or policy by gender and race and, to the extent possible, other identifying factors (e.g., age, ethnicity, parental status, sexual orientation, disability, or other characteristics). The purpose of data collection is to identify current conditions, trends, and impacts. The suggested activities and questions in Appendix A are intended to guide you in your data collection efforts and to help you identify trends and impacts. Remember, there is no need to collect data in areas that are not relevant to your analysis.  That is, if you are not analyzing an entire department but just a particular program, you will only need data that relate to that particular program.                                                                                                                                                                                                              
B. Examine Data. In your data collection efforts, you identified trends and impacts.  Now you want to examine the trends and ask “why?” In your examination, you are analyzing the data and trends to determine how social roles and stereotypes affect the program, service, budget or employment policies and practices. This is difficult!
There are additional questions given to aid you in your examination in Appendix B; pick and choose those that are helpful to you in each category for your analysis.  In reviewing the trends you are looking for gaps between women/girls and men/boys for the selected program, service, or policy and the underlying causes that are not apparent from a cursory or superficial examination. 

For example, if the service you are focusing on is public transportation, the identification of trends would include consideration of women’s and men’s patterns of transportation needs and usage. The following is an example:
Often women have lower income levels than men which could mean they are more likely than men to rely on public transport. With higher participation in part-time and unpaid work due to child and elder care responsibilities, women are more likely than men to use public transportation during off-peak times. This means cuts in public transportation at off-peak times could have a more negative impact on women than men and increases in public transportation during off-peak times, a more positive impact on women than men. Reduced night safety services pose problems for women’s physical safety while increases to nighttime services increase safety.  
C. Obtain Stakeholder Input:  These questions can be reviewed with stakeholders (participants in programs, service providers, employees, community groups etc.) through the use of focus groups, surveys or interviews. In particular, focus on the needs of participants, clients, customers, and employees by gender.
D. Note Lack of Data.  In some cases, sufficient data does not exist.  Perhaps no data were collected on gender or maybe it is just difficult to measure. This also means the impacts of some government policies may not be measured effectively.  When information is unavailable, document what information would be helpful and later you can review how to collect this data in the future so an analysis can be performed.  Until this happens, you are encouraged to collect data in as many categories as possible. 


Step 1 was about defining your vision and gender outcomes. Step 2 was about identifying and explaining current realities. Step 3 will focus on the identification of alternatives and opportunities, best practices, and areas in need of improvement.  You will identify the ways your department’s thinking and practices need to change to more fully support its mission, ensure equitable outcomes for women and men come and reach the intended beneficiaries. Think about what should stay the same, what can be done differently in the future, and in what ways you can shift thinking and practices to more fully support the elimination of discrimination based on social constructs and stereotypes.  Try to review the full range of options available.  It may require some creativity to do something different in order to ensure more gender equitable outcomes than in the past.
A. Identify Best Practices and Areas in Need of Improvement. First review your analysis done in Step 2 for current departmental best practices. Best practices will be areas where women and men are being treated fairly, their needs are considered by gender, and both are benefiting from the services or programs in an equitable manner. By identifying these, you are helping to create a knowledge base for future approaches.
Second, identify the trends and practices that are not consistent with gender equality, review the reasons for the inequality, and think about what can be done about it.  These are what can be called practices in need of improvement.  Pay particular attention to any feedback that was received from stakeholder focus groups or surveys that were conducted.
B. Brainstorm Options for Areas in Need of Improvement. You must creatively brainstorm and research options before you begin to evaluate them.  This should be done in small groups settings. Questions to ask include:

  1. What are the different options we have available to us at this time?
  2. What approaches or tactics can we pursue?
  3. What are the best practices used in other places? Can we adopt these here?
  4. How can the policy be designed to further gender outcomes? 
  5. What steps can be taken to reduce or eliminate any negative impacts on women?
  6. What additional information do we need to improve the situation?
  7. What resources do we have?  What additional resources do we need?

C. Summarize Options. Summarize all options before moving on to Step 4 where you can evaluate and prioritize them.


Step 4 is about developing strategies and an action plan to implement your recommendations. Recommendations may include continuing a “best practice” or choosing an option for revising, expanding, or creating changes to ensure gender equality.  Recommendations may include methods for collecting disaggregated data in the future, especially if they were not available for this analysis. 

A. Options
1.  Pragmatic Option Choice. Review the best practices and options developed in Step 3 and strategically prioritize them. Evaluate the skills, resources and potential partners/models available.  Here is where you get to be practical and weigh costs and benefits. Pragmatic is about choosing the best option while remaining realistic about what is doable.  Sometimes what you want to do may not be possible because the time is not right or the costs too high. Ranking of options with regard to feasibility and cost is important. A SWOT analysis might be useful here. 
(S)  Strengths (e.g., we have knowledgeable staff in place),
(W)  Weaknesses (e.g., the community will be upset if we change this program),
(O)  Opportunities (e.g., we can find partners that will benefit from this approach)   
(T)  Threats (e.g., the funding for this might be cut in the near future).
These options can be reviewed with stakeholders or with a board, commission, task force, or committee to assist in setting priorities. Additional criteria to consider include:

  • How does each option address the issues that were raised in the examinations of trends? Can existing programs and services be easily modified to better meet the needs of women?
  • What are the pros and cons of each option?
  • Which options will accomplish our goals most efficiently and effectively?
  • What are the costs associated with each option? What are the revenues available to fund each option?
  • Will the social and economic benefits to women of implementing the option outweigh the costs to government?

2.  Insufficient Data Option.  If the examination was insufficient because data does not exist how can this data be collected in the future to ensure that an effective gender analysis can be done?  This should be included as an option.
B. Action Plan.  Once the options have been prioritized you should create an action plan with clear steps to guide you in implementing them to move towards your vision/gender outcomes. The action plan should start with a statement of your vision and desired outcomes.  A realistic and effective action plan should include:

  1. Specific steps to be taken
  2. Who is to do what tasks
  3. Budget
  4. Human resources needs
  5. Timeframe to implement the changes

It is critical to monitor the implementation of the action plan and any policy initiative to determine its effectiveness and efficiency in helping to attain equality for women. Therefore, this final step needs to be undertaken to ensure that the action plan is realized.  For City and County of San Francisco departments monitoring is conducted by the Commission on the Status of Women.  In addition, it is imperative that departments create their own internal monitoring systems to ensure consistency and internal checks and balances. Keeping the process as transparent as possible ensures public accountability.  A system of reporting will need to be created.  This may include reporting to a commission, board, task force, department head, or the public and posting the findings, for example, on a public website.
Questions to review in the monitoring mechanism include:

  1. How will women and men know about best practices, changes in the policy or new programs or services?
  2. Are there systems in place which continue to collect data by gender, ethnicity, and other identities? If not, how can such systems be put in place?
  3. Are there measures in place to evaluate the success of a policy? How can it be or reviewed or changed if it is not delivering the envisioned outcomes?
  4. Is the policy contributing towards gender equality? If not, can it be modified so that it does?        

The action plan should be reviewed annually with a view to:

  • Follow-up on findings
  • Make use of experiences gained in the process
  • Initiate new assessments according to the findings
  • Make corrections as appropriate




A.  Does your department have a strategic plan?  If so, review it to identify the use of gender in the mission statement, goals, objectives, and strategies. Also provide information on: 

  1. The gender and race of the people who developed the strategic plan. 
  2. Type of community input that went into creating the strategic plan.

B.  What are the services, programs, and/or policies provided by your department? Collect and review data disaggregated by gender, race, and other defining characteristics to determine who is currently benefiting, participating, being served or affected.  Identify trends and impacts based on the data. For effective trend analysis, you will need to review data for at least two years. What patterns do you note?

C.  List community groups who may work on or be interested in this program, policy, or practice, particularly any groups focusing on women or girls.  How many of your community partners represent women and/or girls?  Who are the targets of outreach?

D.  Review any recent needs assessments, program evaluations, audits, and/or community reports, particularly any that focus on gender or discrimination.  For each report, look for a summary of the key findings and recommendations.  What do they tell you about the needs of women or girls?  How was this assessed or evaluated? How, if at all, do women’s needs differ from the needs of men and/or boys?

E.  Review your department’s program performance evaluation/measures to determine if gender and racial equity are measured.

F.  Review any available research on best practices in the focus area of the program or policy or benchmarking that has been done, especially any that have incorporated a gender approach (e.g., best practices around gender specific services for girls in juvenile justice).


A. Review the budget guidelines, priorities, and audit with a particular focus on any references to gender.

B. What is your department’s total annual budget for each of the past two years?

C.  In the past two years, what was the budget allocation for each service/program and what was each service/program’s source of funds?

D. Where is most of the money going? This question is important to ensuring that gender is considered in the main policies and spending of your department/program.

E.  What are your department’s budget priorities? Do any of them include references to gender, race, or other defining characteristics? If not, what are the possible entry points for a gender perspective?

F.  Who determines your department’s budget priorities, i.e., who in your department/program is involved in putting the budget together? Include job titles and gender (and other demographic information where available)

G.  How is information about client needs collected and analyzed and how is this information prioritized and connected to the budget process?

H.  Is a gender perspective incorporated into the official budget audit for your department/program? If not, how could it be?


A.  Collect and review data on the people who work for your department/program disaggregated by gender, race and other identities in each occupation category and salary range. What patterns do you note?

B.  What is the percentage of women and men in your department relative to the qualified labor pool for each occupational category and level as reflected in census data? Which classifications or levels are under or over represented?

C.  Collect and review data on the oversight body of the department, disaggregated by gender, race, and other identities.  What patterns do you note?

D.  Work/life balance programs refer to programs that increase the ability to balance the needs of work and family or personal life (e.g., flexible scheduling, child care, elder care, domestic partner care, self care).

  1. Describe of types of programs offered and how they are marketed
  2. Collect information on utilization rates by gender and race if available, including various family leaves and flexible schedules (e.g. part time, compressed time, job sharing, flexible hours, telecommuting).

E.  List professional development programs.  Do any target women in particular, including career ladders or apprentice programs.  What are the utilization rates by gender and race if available?

F.  Review standard performance appraisal form if used.  Does it measure behaviors important to successful job performance?  Are raters trained in use of the appraisal instrument, including accurate observation of employee job behaviors, how to make ratings that are free from bias, and how to ensure consistent application of performance standards across employees?  Are managers accountable for assuring gender equity in promotion, retention, training, etc.? Does the employee have an opportunity for input? 

G.  Review EEO policies.  Do you possess anti discrimination/harassment policies and complaint procedures, are they prominently communicated, and do employees and managers, including at the highest level, participate in relevant training regarding these policies? Do you have a designated EEO officer who develops EEO policy, identifies problem areas, and investigates and responds to complaints? Review complaints - how many are gender based, what is the nature of these complaints, and how many have been substantiated upon investigation? 

H.  Review recruitment efforts, particularly those targeting diverse groups.  What community groups is specific outreach done to? What is the budget for these efforts? What efforts are made to recruit genders for non-traditional fields? What support groups, if any exist for genders in non-traditional fields? What long-term community efforts are made, if any, to increase the female labor pool in non-traditional fields, for example, through programs targeted at girls and young women to expose them to and interest them in these areas?

I.  Review workplace safety polices.  Is there one on violence in the workplace? What training exist in this area, in particular any interventions or training for employees who may be in abusive relationships, and/or training to prevent violence at work?  Is an EAP program available for employees who believe they have problems that could lead to violent behavior? What provisions exist to protect the physical safety of department staff that work early morning, late night, or graveyard shifts? What particular provisions exist to protect the physical safety of department staff that work at remote locations or with potentially hostile clients? How is your sexual harassment policy distributed? Is sexual harassment training mandatory for all employees?  Is it offered in languages besides English? How are managers held accountable for enforcement of these policies?



A.  Which programs/services in your department are and are not being utilized by women and girls?  By a racially and ethnically diverse group? If there is a differential impact, why?  If women and girls are not participating, do we know why or how to address their needs?

B.  How are gender equality and gender equity integrated into the process of evaluating programs and services? Does training for service providers address the potentially different needs of women/men and girls/boys? If not, what would it look like if it did?

C.  Are programs and services designed so that women and men have equal access and are they appropriate for women’s and men’s needs? Is there an underserved group that needs benefits from services that is not currently receiving them?

D.  What are key points from past audits, community reports or needs assessments that relate to women? Discrimination? What has been the department follow-up and implementation?

E.  How has the presence or absence of community partners with a particular focus on women and/or girls affected your services?

F.  Are programs that primarily serve women and girls adequately staffed? Resourced? Why or why not?  What is the effect of this?

G.  Are women and/or girls consulted about the evaluation of the services they utilize? What different groups are contacted? Does this evaluation assess whether their needs are being met? What are obstacles to evaluating services for women and girls?

H.  What performance measures, if any, would indicate that your department does its work in gender-equitable ways? What outcomes for each major program relate to women and girls?

I.  What research on best practices in this program, service or policy been done? Is there a best practice for integrating gender considerations? If so, can it be utilized here?


A.  In the annual budget guidelines you receive,  is there any reference to gender?  If not, how could such a reference be included for your department/program? For example, in the budget guidelines, you might be asked to discuss how a new program you are proposing (or a program you want to cut) will impact women and men. 

B.  What are your department’s budget priorities? Do any of them include references to gender, race or other defining characteristics? If your department does not have budget priorities this might be a good time to establish them and to determine how the priorities impact women and men.  If your department does have budget priorities, where might you insert gender as a way to set these priorities?

C.  How has the budget for your department/program changed over the last few years and how have these changes affected women/girls?

D.  Is a gender perspective incorporated into the official budget audit for your department/program?  If not, how could it be? For example, when a budget audit is conducted, is there any effort to determine how the spending that has already occurred impacted women and men?  If not, how would you go about seeing that this will happen?

E. Which programs are most important for gender equality?

F.  Which programs in your department do you think impact women and men differently?  How much is allocated to those programs?

G.  If your department had additional resources, what additional programs/services would you create to promote gender equity?

H.  Which programs are the most vulnerable in terms of funding source? Are these programs that serve women and/or girls?

I.  Which programs receive both the highest and lowest percentage of your budget?  Who do these programs serve?


A.  Look in detail at trends that emerged from the disaggregated data analysis.  Are women concentrated primarily in certain jobs or at certain levels within the organization?  Are they significantly absent from others?  What patterns exist? How do race and gender correlate with job levels and salaries?  Brainstorm why these patterns exist. In responding to this question, consider the possible impacts of recruitment, seniority, equal opportunity efforts, professional development efforts, work-life policies, and discrimination.

B.  For areas in which women are either underrepresented or overrepresented, compare job classifications, duties, and salaries. Are these frequently updated and are they based on the skills, qualifications and experience required for the position? Are certain groups absent at the upper echelons of the organization?   If so who (gender, race, etc.) is most impacted by this glass ceiling?  Why?

Recruitment and Retention
C.  What impact have your recruitment efforts had in establishing a workforce that is diverse in terms of race and gender, from top to bottom?

D.  When thinking about recruitment, have you considered better training for recruitment staff, more time spent on recruitment, expanded outreach efforts, participation in a variety of diverse professional organizations and job fairs? Are there civil service rules that either hinder or aid your department’s efforts for recruitment? How does your job qualification and/or interview panel development processes either hinder or aid in hiring more women?  Do you track the percentage of different groups, disaggregated by race, gender, etc., who exit the workplace?   Are there any patterns? Do any groups leave disproportionately?  Do you conduct exit interviews or employ other means to discover why certain individuals or groups might be leaving the workplace?

E.  Is there an emphasis on racially diverse women and girl participation in your current internship and apprenticeship programs? 

Professional Development
F.  In reviewing your professional development programs is training and development encouraged and considered critical for each employee? What areas is it offered in?  If women are not participating why not? What barriers exist? Can these be removed? Do you have a diverse internal pipeline of future leaders for the organization?  If not, are special efforts being made to recruit and/or groom such candidates?

G.  Are performance reviews used as an opportunity for career development?  Are training options and career choices discussed in performance reviews? Why or Why not?

H.  Are there verifiable programs to hold managers accountable for attaining measurable progress in the hiring, training, retention and promotion of women? Why or why not?

Work Life Balance Policies
I.  What trends indicate who does and does not utilize current work life policies? Why or why not?   Are there negative consequences for the employee that takes advantage of flexible work options? What? How can the department minimize negative career consequences to employees using flexible work options? Is there a pattern to who is most often denied access to flexible work options?  Are there specific programs in place to minimize the negative consequences of career interruptions due to child-birth and child rearing?  For example, does the organization have any programs (so called “opt-in” or “on-ramps” programs) in place to maintain ties with, and to rehire, women and men who have interrupted their careers to care for young children?

J.  What additional work life policies could your department offer, such as job sharing, part time work, telecommuting, flexible work schedules, child/elder care information/referral, on-site childcare, emergency back-up childcare, summer and school holiday programs, etc.?  If not, why?

K.  How are employees notified of these policies?  Is it possible to expand these programs to be more inclusive? 

Safety at Work 
L.  How can the safety policies that address gender be expanded? Does the violence in the workplace program include a violence against women (domestic violence) component?

M.  Are training efforts in discrimination and harassment prevention successful in creating a safe and respectful work environment?  Why or why not?


Excerpt from Women’s Human Rights Ordinance (CEDAW) CHAPTER 12K  of the San Francisco Municipal Code and Administrative Code


It shall be the goal of the City to implement the principles underlying CEDAW, listed in Section 12K.6 by addressing discrimination against women and girls in areas including economic development, violence against women and girls and health care. In implementing CEDAW, the City recognizes the connection between racial discrimination, as articulated in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and discrimination against women. The City shall ensure that the City does not discriminate against women in areas including employment practices, allocation of funding and delivery of direct and indirect services. The City shall conduct gender analyses, as described in Section 12K.4, to determine what, if any, City practices and policies should change to implement the principles of CEDAW.

(a)   Economic Development.
    (1)   The City shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in the City of San Francisco in employment and other economic opportunities, including, but not limited to, ensuring:
        (A)   The right to the same employment opportunities, including the application of the same criteria for selection in matters of employment and the right to receive access to and vocational training for nontraditional jobs;
        (B)   The right to promotion, job security and all benefits and conditions of service, regardless of parental status, particularly encouraging the appointment of women to decision making posts, City revenue generating and managing commissions and departments, and judicial positions;
        (C)   The right to equal remuneration, including benefits and to equal pay in respect to work of equal value;
        (D)   The right to the protection of health and safety in working conditions, including supporting efforts not to purchase sweatshop goods, regular inspection of work premises, and protection from violent acts at the workplace.
    (2)   The City shall encourage and, where possible, fund the provisions of the necessary supporting social services to enable parents to combine family obligations with work responsibilities and participation in public life, in particular through promoting the establishment and development of a network of child care facilities, paid family leave, family-friendly policies and work-life balance.
    (3)   The City shall encourage the use of public education and all other available means to urge financial institutions to facilitate women's access to bank accounts, loans, mortgages, and other forms of financial services.

(b)   Violence Against Women and Girls.
    (1)   The City shall take and diligently pursue all appropriate measures to prevent and redress sexual and domestic violence against women and girls, including, but not limited to:
        (A)   Police enforcement of criminal penalties and civil remedies, when appropriate;
        (B)   Providing appropriate protective and support services for survivors, including counseling and rehabilitation programs;
        (C)   Providing gender-sensitive training of City employees regarding violence against women and girls, where appropriate; and
        (D)   Providing rehabilitation programs for perpetrators of violence against women or girls, where appropriate. The City shall not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, culture, language or sexual orientation, when providing the above supportive services.
    (2)   It shall be the goal of the City to take all necessary measures to protect women and girls from sexual harassment in their places of employment, school, public transportation, and any other places where they may be subject to harassment. Such protection shall include streamlined and rapid investigation of complaints.
    (3)   Prostitutes are especially vulnerable to violence because their legal status tends to marginalize them. It shall be the policy of San Francisco that the Police Department diligently investigate violent attacks against prostitutes and take efforts to establish the level of coercion involved in the prostitution, in particular where there is evidence of trafficking in women and girls. It shall be the goal of the City to develop and fund projects to help prostitutes who have been subject to violence and to prevent such acts.
    (4)   The City shall ensure that all public works projects include measures, such as adequate lighting, to protect the safety of women and girls.
    (5)   It shall be the goal of the City to fund public information and education programs to change traditional attitudes concerning the roles and status of women and men.

(c)   Health Care.
    (1)   It shall be the goal of the City to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in the field of health care in order to ensure, on a basis of equity, information about and access to adequate health care facilities and services, according to the needs of all communities, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, language, and sexual orientation, including information, counseling and services in family planning.
    (2)   It shall be the goal of the City to ensure that women and girls receive appropriate services in connection with prenatal care, delivery, and the post-natal period, granting free services where possible, as well as adequate nutrition during pregnancy and lactation.

(d)   In undertaking the enforcement of this ordinance, the City is assuming an undertaking only to promote the general welfare. It is not assuming, nor is it imposing on its officers and employees, an obligation for breach of which it is liable in money damages to any person who claims that such breach proximately caused injury.
(Formerly Sec. 12K.2; added by Ord. 128-98, App. 4/13/98; renumbered and amended by Ord. 325-00, File No. 001920, App. 12/28/2000)
Article 1: Defines discrimination against women as any "distinction, exclusion, or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of marital status, on the basis of equality between men and women, of human rights or fundamental freedom in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil, or any other field."
Article 2. Mandates concrete steps, implementing laws, policies and practices to eliminate discrimination against women and embody the principle of equality.
Article 3. Requires action in all fields--civil, political, economic, social, and cultural--to advance the human rights of women.
Article 4. Permits affirmative action measures to accelerate equality and eliminate discrimination.
Article 5. Recognizes the role of culture and tradition, and calls for the elimination of sex role stereotyping.
Article 6. Requires suppression of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitutes.
Article 7. Mandates ending discrimination against women in political and public life.
Article 8. Requires action to allow women to represent their governments internationally on an equal basis with men.
Article 9. Mandates that women will have equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their nationality and that of their children.
Article 10. Obligates equal access to all fields of education and the elimination of stereotyped concepts of the roles of men and women.
Article 11. Mandates the end of discrimination in the field of employment and recognizes the right to work as a human right.
Article 12. Requires steps to eliminate discrimination from the field of health care, including access to family planning. If necessary, these services must be free of charge.
Article 13. Requires that women be ensured equal access to family benefits, bank loans, credit, sports and cultural life.
Article 14. Focuses on the particular problems faced by rural women.
Article 15. Guarantees equality before the law and equal access to administer property.
Article 16. Requires steps to ensure equality in marriage and family relations.
Article 17. Calls for the establishment of a committee to evaluate the progress of the implementation of CEDAW.
Articles 18--30. Set forth elements of the operation of the treaty.
(Formerly Sec. 12K.5; added by Ord. 128-98, App. 4/13/98; renumbered by Ord. 325-00, File No. 001920, App. 12/28/2000)


 [1]  CEDAW was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979, signed by then-President Jimmy Carter, but remains unratified in the United States, despite ratification by 187 other countries, including Afghanistan, North Korea, and Iraq. The full text of the United Nations convention is available here. The full text of the San Francisco CEDAW Ordinance is available on the Department on the Status of Women's website here.

[2]  The full text of CEDAW is available at

[3]  United States Department of Labor Women's Bureau publishes statistics on earnings by gender and race/ethnicity: For every dollar a man made in 2013, women made 78.3 cents. More detailed information can be found here.