areas, such as understanding the needs of transsexual people, public authorities may wish to obtain external assistance.
It is recommended that all relevant staff in the public authority should have some understanding of the duty, its meaning for their work and the authority's priority goals in gender equality. This can be achieved by staff briefing, and where relevant, training programmes, and by building goals and targets relevant to the duty into individual personal development plans across the organisation. It can also be supported by recognising progress in achieving gender equality when rewarding individual and team performance.
Success factors in gender mainstreaming
When planning for implementation of the duty, and reviewing progress, public authorities may wish to consider the factors commonly associated with successful gender mainstreaming in organisations:
ongoing top-level commitment and willingness to commit resources to achieving gender equality
developing a shared understanding of the problem, and a shared vision of what gender equality would look like for the authority, which links directly to organisational objectives
board-level leadership and accountability (with engagement of elected representatives where applicable)
senior management support and accountability
specialist staff to steer the process and support staff capacity
good systems for disaggregating new and existing data by gender
developing staff understanding of gender equality and skills in analysing the gender impact of policy
involving staff, service users, unions and voluntary sector organisations
building gender equality standards and objectives into routine organisational procedures such as policy and budget approval documentation, organisational and departmental targets and objectives, and individual job descriptions, objectives and appraisals.
These processes are needed to make the duty work, but they are not an end in themselves. The purpose of the duty is to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment and promote equality of opportunity between women and men. Ultimately, the key to the success of the duty is achieving culture change in public authorities, a process which will take time and commitment. An authority which makes the effort to meet the needs of women and of men will see the benefits, however, through delivering better quality services and having a more productive workforce.