Assess the situation before planning

Diverse methods for the assessment of equality: the Ministry of Justice’s experiences


Before a workplace embarks on drawing up an equality promotion plan, the current equality situation in the organisation must be reviewed. The plan must not be drawn up based on preliminary guesses.

"The objectives and the measures to intervene in and prevent discrimination can then be planned based on the results of the assessment of equality," says Senior Specialist Panu Artemjeff from the Unit for Democracy, Language Affairs and Fundamental Rights of the Ministry of Justice

According to the Non-discrimination Act, the authorities, the education provider or the employer must evaluate the realisation of equality in their activities.

The purpose of the assessments is to review what kind of issues related to equality there are in the organisation, how equality is realised among the personnel or customers and what the key areas of development are. Assessment helps to identify possible discrimination.

For its own gender equality and non-discrimination plan for the period 2016–2019, the Ministry of Justice utilised a variety of assessment methods. For example, a gender equality and non-discrimination survey was conducted among the personnel, assessment workshops were organised for each department and discussion events were organised for interest groups. A pay review and a job satisfaction survey were also used in the assessment.

"The idea is not that everyone should use so many methods at the same time - one of the reasons we used them all was also to test them. However, a few methods should always be combined, such as surveys and workshop-type solutions. This way the workplace can obtain the most diverse information possible," Artemjeff points out.

According to him, especially workshops are particularly useful because, at best, they provide good insights into how equality can be promoted and, on the other hand, they give everyone the possibility to participate in the process in a concrete way.

When assessments are implemented at regular intervals after the completion of the equality promotion plan, they provide information on whether the objectives of the plan have been achieved.

"If necessary, the plan is updated and the activities are adapted according to the information provided by the assessment. In other words, it is not always necessary to draw up an entirely new plan, small amendments may be enough." 

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