Measuring Gender Equality

ygap is excited to be launching new content for the Gender Lens in Incubation and Acceleration (GLIA) Toolkit. This toolkit was developed in 2019 in partnership with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and released at the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Conference in February of 2020. The new content is focused on ‘Measuring Gender Equality’, which will help Entrepreneurship Support Organisations (ESOs) explore a practical approach to measure, evaluate and learn from the effectiveness of strategies implemented to promote gender equity across the scope of their organisation and operations. The new content also includes a series of entrepreneur training resources that explore themes including gender and power, imposter syndrome, gender in service and product design and negotiation skills.

The new section of the GLIA toolkit is designed for wide accessibility of use, and has been rigorously tested by nine ESOs in Southeast Asia from a diversity of locations including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore. This content is what we expect will be the first of many augmentations of the GLIA toolkit, reflecting how broad, complex and ever-evolving gender is in the context of entrepreneurship and social change.

Work of this kind is something that we are incredibly proud of as an organisation. For years, ygap has run entrepreneurship accelerators for women-led ventures through our yher programs across the Pacific Islands, South Asia and Africa. These programs play a role in supporting women-led ventures that are contributing greatly to their local communities through the ventures that they run. Working at this micro level has always been part of our core, but through working on projects like GLIA, we’re also able to affect change in entrepreneurship at a structural and ecosystem level.

Why is gender equality in entrepreneurship important? Some would say it’s because increased opportunities and support for women in entrepreneurship has the potential to add trillions of dollars to the global economy, increase business performance, and the innovation that comes with a greater diversity of minds in a room. Some would say better economic conditions result in better health care, increased access to education, and prosperity across the whole community, that supporting gender parity in entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout the world means better outcomes for all. While those are both true, we say that gender equality is important in every aspect of life, not because of the benefits it brings to other facets of the community but because achieving a fair and equitable world for all is — at its heart — a matter of principle.

In 2020, ygap made Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) one of our five strategic focus areas, starting by walking the talk and implementing the GLIA toolkit at every level of the organisation. This has included re-examining any barriers to accessibility in our recruitment processes at a program, staff and board level, updating our policies to reflect this change in organisational focus, and strengthening the gender lens on our Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) processes. These changes are just the starting point of our Gender, Diversity and Inclusion journey and we look forward to continuing to share updates as they happen, along with more content for the GLIA toolkit.

To learn more about the GLIA toolkit or ygap’s gender work in general, get in touch with the ygap Collaborations Program Director, Audrey Jean-Baptiste at audrey@ygap.org