Gender Compass

Plan International Australia

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Varied Ages
Project Focus
Project Area
ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

Project Description

Gender equality continues to be an ongoing issue across Australia. The average full-time weekly wage for a woman is still 15.3% less than a man’s. 1-in-3 young women have experienced physical or sexual violence. Recent research by Ipsos and Global Institute for Women’s Leadership found that Australian men hold some of the most misogynistic views in the world.

Discrimination, inequality and violence are all symptoms of these harmful attitudes and societal norms. In order to overcome this, we must target the underlying attitudes.

There is little to no research identifying how best to engage with the Australian public’s existing attitudes on gender equality. We lack fundamental knowledge on how to shift their attitudes – most advocacy efforts are largely based on intuition and anecdotal experiences.

We are creating a ‘Gender Compass’ – an audience segmentation tool that will inform more effective gender equality advocacy. We will conduct comprehensive research to segment the broader Australian public according to their beliefs, values, and behaviours in relation to gender equity. This will form the evidentiary basis for our recommendations on how to communicate with each group to shift their attitudes and mobilise them to take action.

This tool will be essential in helping to shift toxic attitudes against women. It will be shared publicly and freely for all to use.

This research is based on the groundbreaking ‘Climate Compass’ project in America and Australia.

Expected Outcomes

This project will:
1) Identify up to 6 audience segments of the broader Australian population with relation to their attitudes around gender equality,
2) Collect evidence on how to target gender equity messaging - which particular groups we should be talking to about gender equality, what we should talk to them about and how we should deliver information to them,
3) Compile insights into beliefs, risk perceptions, behaviours, policy preferences of each segment to create recommendations around how to communicate with them.

As a result, this will:
1) Increase engagement and understanding of the Australian public on gender equality issues,
2) Increase the skills and capacity in the advocacy sector to better target their advocacy messages and strategically shape campaigns,
3) Improve our capacity to measure the impact of gender equality campaigns and advocacy on the change in public attitudes around gender equality by monitoring the changes in segments over time.

Which we will measure by monitoring:
1) # of individuals reached through Gender Compass mass and social media engagement,
2) # sector-related professionals trained in using the Gender Compass tool,
3) # of sector partners which embed Gender Compass in evaluation frameworks.

Project Data & Lessons

Socialisation of the findings is a critical goal of this research project. The first step in ensuring this research is used by the sector and does not exist in a vacuum was to recruit a Steering Committee of communications professionals across more than 10 organisations who actively advocate and campaign on gender equality both domestically and internationally. In playing a role in shaping the research, these organisations can ensure the research is relevant to their needs and can be used to design campaigns, advocacy messages and strategies to target supporters. The Steering Committee is currently comprised of representatives from Plan International Australia, CARE, International Women's Development Agency, Oxfam, ActionAid, Women with Disabilities Victoria, Fair Agenda, The Shift, and Equality Rights Alliance.

Further, we will have a media strategy to socialise findings. This will be modelled on the media strategy for the Climate Compass research, as this was very successful.

We are also working with organisations in the sector, including the Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, to organise events and training sessions that allow us to socialise the findings and equip the sector with the tools to communicate more strategically to targeted audiences about gender equality.

Finally, we are allocating some funding to develop resources that make the findings of the research accessible to agencies and grassroots groups by developing free-to-use resource materials.

Project Dates

Project Commences: July 1, 2022
Project Completes: August 31, 2023

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
Plan International Australia's contribution
Other Support Opportunities
In-kind contributions

Organisation Details

Plan International Australia
ABN: 49 004 875 807


Steffi Chang
Phone: 0455932846

About Plan International Australia

We’re the charity for girls’ equality. We strive for a just world for all children, and equality for girls. We are an independent international NGO working in 77 countries worldwide.
We tackle the root causes of poverty, support communities through crisis, campaign for gender equality, and help governments do what’s right for children and particularly for girls. We are here to ignite the creativity, talent and ideas of girls in all their diversities. We are informed by evidence, and always learning.
We’ve been doing this for more than 80 years, but we don’t do it alone. We bring people together to create change that lasts. Children, families, local communities, government, schools, businesses, and you.
We do what we do so babies can survive their first 1000 days, so children can learn in safe environments, so girls can live and work without discrimination, so young people can stand up for their rights, and so all children can break free from poverty. We view the children, families and local communities we work with as our partners and our equals.

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