Assessing Athena Swan: Applying Feminist methods through Evaluation Co-Design

Helen Taylor, Sue Williamson

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Feminist approaches to employment relations methods are vital to advancing gender equality. Traditionally, dominant voices have been overwhelmingly represented throughout studies of organisations and management. With an increasing commitment to progressing gender equality in workplaces, research that looks to a broader range of voices is emerging. In this chapter we detail the methodologies used to evaluate the progress and achievements of a gender equity program in a large city university. As feminist researchers, we were committed to applying principles which accord with this standpoint. This led us to co-design the research methodologies to be used, ensuring issues of voice, power and reflexivity were accorded due attention to ensure the lived experiences of participants were valued, shared and understood. We also used feminist research methods to minimise power imbalances between us as researchers and our participants; this also necessitated that we create a psychologically safe space for those involved in the study. In this chapter we outline the theoretical underpinnings of our study, detail the co-design process, and explain how we conducted the field work. We highlight difficulties we encountered as feminist researchers, and how these were addressed. Finally, we offer guidance to future researchers and practitioners who seek to evaluate the progress or outcomes of their organisation’s gender equality programs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationField guide to researching employment relations
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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