Gathering gender disaggregated data regularly, quantitative and qualitative. Analysing these data in a dedicated Report so as to monitor gender and diversity in the organization

Main aim of the action

Analysis of the data on the composition of teaching staff, administrative staff and students by gender at Unibo as a whole, as well as broken down by Departments and Schools. This will indicate the situation of vertical and horizontal segregation, and the ceiling glass effect. The data collection will allow UNIBO assessing the institutional situation in terms of gender distribution, and monitoring whether and how this situations changes over time due to the actions implemented by Plotina and by other tools/measures put in place by Unibo to foster equal opportunities.

Expected impact

First, raising awareness among governing bodies, teaching and administrative staff as well as among students on vertical and horizontal segregation, on glass ceiling and on the urgency to undertake actions to solve them . Second, the monitoring and improving of critical situations (for instance, in specific Departments, Schools, governing bodies), characterized by unequal conditions.


An interdisciplinary team collected data manually but mostly in digital format (from Unibo DataWarehouse) to draft the Gender Report. The Gender report was presented and approved in June 2017 by the Board of the University of Bologna, and it was presented during a Conference organised by the CUG held at Unibo in December 2017. The Conference was addressed to teaching and administrative staff, as well as external associations working on gender issues. Moreover, the Gender Report was presented in other two Conferences held in November and December 2017 at the University of Ferrara and of Padua, in order not only to spread Unibo experience and the results of the data collection carried out, but also to spread the methodology used by Unibo to elaborate the Gender Report. From December 2017, the Gender Report as well as two short versions of it (one in Italian and one in English) are online in the official website of Unibo (;


The wide range of data to be collected and reported requires intensive work and a great amount of human and financial resources. Data on absences and leaves required specific analysis and a thoughtful reflection on the best way to present them in order to guarantee the anonymity of particular, sensitive situations. The gathering of such an amount of data was possible thanks to the support of a specific unit of the University of Bologna, namely ARAG (Evaluation and strategic planning unit).

Coping strategies

From the first edition of the Gender Report (that was published in 2016), the Unibo team has reduced the number of data and indicators focusing only on those that are really relevant and avoiding redundancies. Moreover, Unibo has improved the collection process and found a strategy to represent data in amore effective and relevant form. Finally, in 2017, the team undertook specific meetings with the internal unit devoted to collect data on absences and leaves, to discuss and agree the best way to represent such data to preserve the anonymity.


This measure allowed increasing University knowledge on the state-of-the-art on gender equality at all levels of the organization.

This measure has contributed to the expected result in that the data collection outcomes show the differences between men and women in the area of career-making and decision-making.

In the long term, it allows a continuous monitoring of the gender equality status in the organization.

Lessons learnt/transferability/reflection

First of all, it is important to share with the whole group the aims of the documents and what it is intended to measure. The first step is training on gender data and gender issues. Second, it is very important to include in the group that have to elaborate the Gender Report the internal unit that is responsible to manage the DataWareHouse of the university, as well as the internal unit in charge of communication and graphic setting of the document. If there is not a unit dedicated to manage the DataWareHouse or the latter do not cover all the data concerning teaching, research, etc., it is important to identify one person responsible in each unit (teaching, research, etc.) who will collect data concerning the unit where he/she works. A Unibo strength consists of its decision to have an office specifically dedicated to the data collection, ARAG, that centralizes the gathering of information at departmental and institutional level. CUG, through Plotina, required and obtained the resources to allow ARAG collecting data disaggregated by sex and gender. Third, it is important to define specific deadlines to obtain the data. Fourth, it is important to disseminate the document, both internally and externally. Specifically, it is important to enhance the visibility of the document to the governing bodies in order to encourage them to undertake specific actions aimed at improving gender equality where it is necessary. Another Italian University (University of Padua) said that it has considered the Gender Report of Unibo, together with another one, as a guide to shape its own Gender Report. We can invest more in the discussion both internally and externally with other universities in order to agree on a set of indicators to be included in Gender Reports in order to stimulate benchmarking with other universities.

Key area

The governance bodies, key actors and decision-makers

Type of action

Data gathering and analysis


Alma Mater Studiorum – Universita Di Bologna (UNIBO)
Higher education institution

Action level of implementation

Researchers/professors and technical and administrative staff, students