Is the policy or practice a major one in terms of size and significance for the authority's activities?
Is there any indication that, although the policy or practice is minor, it is likely to have a major impact on gender equality? This is not only a question of the numbers of people affected but of the seriousness of the potential impact, whether negative or positive.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) has developed an Equality Impact Assessment Tool. It is part of the GLA's project management methodology that projects with a budget of over £100k must go through an equality impact assessment (EQIA). In addition, the GLA has identified the following projects and policies as requiring an EQIA:
All Mayoral strategies and all best value reviews.
Policies and projects that each of the GLA's directorates identify as requiring an EQIA, as part of the business planning process each year. These should be policies and projects that:
are of relevance to the GLA's duty to promote race equality (because of the statutory duty)
and are primary high level functions, rather than support functions or sub-projects
and are in their initial planning stage or undergoing a revision.
Although only the projects and policies that meet these criteria must have an EQIA, GLA staff leading on any project, including those with budgets below £100K, are told to seriously consider carrying out an EQIA at the planning stage.
Additional useful screening questions might include:
Is there any evidence that women and men have different needs, experiences, concerns or priorities in relation to the issues addressed by the policy or practice?
Is there evidence that particular groups of women or men have particular needs etc. in relation to this policy or practice? For example, women from a particular ethnic group or men from a particular age group or, for employment functions, transsexual staff or job applicants.
Of those affected by the policy or practice, what proportion are men and what proportion are women?
If more women (or men) are likely to be affected by the policy or practice, is that appropriate and consistent with its objective?
Where the policy or practice is intended to achieve a particular outcome, what is the evidence on the likely outcomes for men and for women?
Could the policy or practice unintentionally disadvantage people of one sex or the other or, for employment functions, could it disadvantage transsexual women and men? It is essential to consider not just the intended consequences of the policy or practice but also any unintended consequences and barriers that might prevent it being effective for one sex or the other.
Consulting stakeholders will be of assistance to the public authority in determining criteria for proceeding to a full impact assessment and in conducting the full process.