Setting Targets with Teeth

Setting “Targets with Teeth”

Having a clear idea of what is to be achieved, by when, and why, is critical to making good progress on gender inclusion. Your organization might express your desired outcome as a combination of strategic objectives, related step-by-step goals, and measurable targeted results.

Key Principles

For setting meaningful and useful targets for gender inclusion, use the same approaches and principles that are helpful for setting other business goals. One widely known approach uses the SMART acronym to describe the characteristics of effective objectives:

  • Specific – clear and detailed enough to help people understand exactly what is to be achieved
  • Measurable – able to be tracked, monitored and measured; people will be able to agree when the goal has been met
  • Achievable – challenging yet realistic
  • Relevant – important to the individuals involved and to the business
  • Time-bound – governed by expectations of what will be achieved and by when, including a time for getting started

Clarify the accountability for achieving the objectives, cascading aspects of the objective to different levels in the organization. Ensure that supervisors, team leads and employees have a clear “line of sight” that connects their day-to-day behaviour to the overall goal of the gender inclusion initiative. Everyone must know what role they have to play in achieving the target.

Targets, not Quotas

Quotas, or pre-established numbers of women to be hired or promoted, are problematic in efforts to foster gender inclusion. They are likely to generate resistance and can often emphasize meeting the numbers rather than achieving a truly inclusive workplace. In contrast, targets can create commitment to a shared goal. Targets for gender inclusion can, and typically should, go beyond numerical goals.

Measuring the Achievement of Targets

“Targets with teeth” are clear, measurable and important to the business. There are real consequences for not achieving progress toward them. Results are monitored and reported.

Good baseline measurements will help to inform targets. Like other business measurements, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can be used as a mechanism to track an improvement in performance over a specific period of time, at the level of individual manager, work site, company or across a segment of the industry.

Category of Target

Sample KPI or Target

Representation of women

  • Increase the percentage of women in geology studies from xx% to yy% in the next two years.
  • Increase our number of women in senior management feeder positions from xx to yy within the next five years.
  • Reduce voluntary turnover among mid-career women from xx% to yy% for the current fiscal year.

Gender inclusive conditions and freedom from stereotypes

  • Complete a review of all job descriptions in the maintenance and production occupations, and remove any uncovered gendered language, by the end of the 3rd quarter.
  • Renovate the XX mine site buildings to provide womenappropriate shower and toilet facilities during the fiscal year.

Workplace climate

  • Employee engagement survey results in XX region must show a xx% decrease in the gap between men and women employees’ satisfaction with career opportunities.
  • 90% of harassment complaints must be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant.

Business case indicators

  • By the end of next fiscal, our number of qualified applicants for the following three hard-to-fill occupations [x,y,z] will increase by 50%, including a 75% increase in the numbers of women applicants.
  • Short-term absences will be reduced by xx% by the end of the 3rd quarter.
Scroll to Top