Equilibrium Cycle

The procedure for this method is described in the ’Equilibrium’ project, which is run by Näringslivets Ledarskapsakademi (the Business Leadership Academy), in terms similar to ‘the Ladder’, i.e. the eight step of Gender Equality Outcome Evaluation.

The Academy has developed a process model known as the ‘equilibrium cycle’ that encompasses everyone in a work organisation, irrespective of occupational role or position.

The key words, step by step from the initiation of efforts to promote and achieve gender equality, are as follows.

  1. Knowledge
    Everyone, who is expected to take part in the reform work, needs knowledge. For people to create an image of the current situation, facts about the organisation concerned are also necessary. The purpose of a fact-finding survey is to reveal any differences between women and men engaged in the activity, and to answer such questions as ‘What is the sex composition at different hierarchic levels, in different occupational groups and for different decision-making processes?A survey of resource distribution with respect to time, money and space should also be included. Examples of relevant questions are:

    • ‘What are the forms of employment and the recruitment processes?’
    • ‘How are salaries and employment benefits distributed?’
    • ‘Who exerts power and influence over activities?’
    • ‘Which individuals use their parental leave?’

    For the survey to become comprehensive, it needs to be supplemented with a customer and citizen perspective. What is the situation of those whom the activity addresses? For example, how does it reflect the needs of, response to and resource distribution among women and men?

    The next step is to analyse, interpret, explain and make sense of facts that have been collected. Which gender patterns do they reveal? Why are these as they are? What repercussions do they have on activities?

  2. Insight
    To reach insight, time for reflection, dialogue and comparing notes is needed. Do men and women have divergent opinions and experience?
  3. Planning
    The purpose of this step is to plan the work. What needs to be done, how and by whom? Objectives need to be defined and priorities assigned. Objectives may be qualitative, quantitative or a combination of both.
  4. Action
    The objectives are broken down as concrete measures, and all those involved should be allowed to know how they are expected to contribute to target fulfilment. The management and executives must personally take part and be active in the work and evaluate the results attained.
  5. Outcomes
    Reforms have been implemented, activities concluded and, if all has gone according to plan, objectives achieved.
  6. Evaluation
    The work needs to be evaluated and experience shared. What has contributed to the outcomes that have been attained?
  7. Learning
    The task of promoting gender equality has no end point. It needs to go hand in hand with the ongoing work of reforming activities. For further efforts, it is important to demonstrate clearly what has worked and what has not worked.
  8. Further Progress
    A structured evaluation is the start of the process ahead. What have been produced in terms of knowledge, data and new insights will be involved in setting of new goals and in moving on into the next change process.


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