The research question driving this project was ‘what is the congruence between the lived experience of gender and a policy designed to improve gender equity in a university environment?’ The study used mixed methods to investigate the question. These methods included analysis of organisational travel data, and a collaborative autoethnography of participants engaging with claims for dependent care support expenses while travelling for work. The research found four key themes influencing the relationship between gender equity policies and the lived experience of staff. These include gatekeeping, organisation-wide funding of gender equity policies, policy development processes and gender equity as a concept. This article presents a series of transferable recommendations for organisations looking to improve gender equity.