this may require the collection of new information. Information should be collected on the gender profile of service users, on staff, and on any other people, such as tenants, who may be affected by decision-making and policy functions.
Information may also need to be collected to compare the profile of potential staff or service users with actual staff or service users. For example, to analyse the gender aspects of an employment scheme, a public authority would have to compare the percentage of women in the scheme with the pool of economically inactive or unemployed women relative to men.
Setting up these systems or adapting existing systems may be a significant task initially, in order to develop the evidence base for the initial scheme. It will, however, have major benefits in improving the performance management of the organisation overall. It is recommended that public authorities ensure their systems allow them to cross-reference information by ethnicity, disability, age and other categories, so that there is evidence of any issues for different groups of women and men.
Public authorities which do not already have data might look at collecting information in the following areas:
gender differences in service use – needs, expectations, barriers, satisfaction rates, outcomes
balance of women and men in key decision-making bodies, including public appointments
the gender profile of their staff, including analysis of patterns for part-time staff and those with caring responsibilities
the extent and causes of the gender pay gap in the authority for full-time and part-time staff – including data on pay systems, the impact of caring responsibilities and occupational segregation (see paras 3.40–3.56)
the prevalence of harassment and sexual harassment of staff and service users, the number of formal complaints and the outcome of complaints
return rates of women on maternity leave and whether they are returning to jobs at the same level of responsibility and pay
issues and barriers affecting transsexual staff and potential staff.
Quantitative monitoring is likely to be difficult in relation to transsexual staff or job applicants because of very low numbers and privacy concerns. Staff and job applicants should be told why the information is being collected and what it will be used for and be assured of confidentiality and genuine anonymity. They should also be told that they are under no obligation to give such information. Further advice can be sought from Acas and transsexual groups.
Quantitative data can be supplemented by qualitative information from consultation with stakeholders, including voluntary sector groups and trade unions, and from focus groups or other sources.
The duty is not just about collecting information, however, but analysing and using it, so that public authorities know where they are being successful and where they need to take action. For example, information may indicate that very few men are accessing