How to measure Gender Equality : OKR Based Approach

Mahidhar K
Know Thyself, Heal Thyself
4 min readJul 10, 2021
Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

What are OKRs?

OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. OKRs were created by Andy Grove at Intel and taught to John Doerr by him. Since then, many companies have adopted them.

Objectives are the big vision the company has. It is qualitative and provides direction to strive. Key results are how the progress can be measured. These are quantitive and measurable

Eg: Consider a health App

Objective : Help people eat healthy

Key results

  1. Reduce the BMI by 4 points for users who signed up within 6 months
  2. Make users stick to a diet plan for 20 days in a month
  3. Maintain adoption of more than 80% every month for the diet plans

The greatness of OKRs is that it can be applied for Personal missions and even social missions

Eg: Consider me

Objective: Become a better writer

Key results

  1. Publish 1 article every month
  2. Get 100 views per article
  3. Get 20% engagement via likes per article
  4. Get 5% followers for every article published

Gender Equality

It is with this context that I wanted to apply OKRs to a social mission i.e Gender Equality. To know equality, it is imperative to understand how the inequality was created.

All Humans are not Born Equal

Men and Women are different in gene biology and it inherently leads to some different evolution. As per Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene, genes evolved in such a way they maximised sustenance of each gene (hence the selfish gene, not to be confused the selfish definition of human society). Natural selection favoured genes who adapted and hence they sustained. Genes which do not adapt perish. A big differentiating gene between men and women is the reproductive system.

Battle of the sexes

Men are endowed with a reproductive system which can work parallely and women with a reproductive system serially. This creates a conflict of interest. Men reproductive system wants to keep on producing with many mates and hence increase its own gene pool. This creates a problem for Women reproductive system as they would be left with doing the child upbringing.

Enter the culture

Humans being cognitive beings were able to solve this conflict by having a culture defined in place. Women choose men based on their intent and abilities to help in upbringing of the child. Men became the bread winners and women home makers in most of the hunter gatherers and it stuck for long years. Even after industrial and technology revolution, many cultures view men and women with these tags which are not relevant. In today’s economic world, men and women are equally capable of doing each others duties except child bearing.

The root of inequality was culture and can only be solved by a cultural shift

Consider a free a society. The objective is achieve a gender equality between men and women across Economical, Social and Technological aspects. Most Legal establishments (Sharia Law is a major exception,) and Political establishments (most democracies now have equal rights to women) today treat women equally

Economic Aspects

Economic Objective: Women should be considered equally as economic providers for the family

Cultural Shift: Men are not bread winners. Women earnings are not additional bonus to family earnings

Key results:

  1. Homes with working women should be 100%
  2. Homes with both genders contributing to running household 100%
  3. Women taking Life Insurance Policies with nominees should be equal to men

Social Objective: Woman is same as man

Cultural Shift: Do away with mentality of “Its a man’ job, not woman’s and vice versa”. Create Safe society for women to express their freedom. Do not have different social obligations for men and women

Women should not be just viewed in the lens of beauty. This is probably the most difficult objective to achieve. But we can bring parallels if Men are also viewed in the lens of beauty equally. Years of consumer marketing though has a different definition of beauty for Men and Women.

Key results:

  1. All jobs should have equal mix of genders
  2. Women harassment at workplace should be equal number to Men harassment (ideally should be zero for both)
  3. Men spending on beauty and health products must be equal to Women spending

Technology Objective: Female kids should have equal opportunities to learn

Cultural Shift: Females are not made to serve in other homes. Females can support parents in their old age

Key results:

  1. Parents should invest their wealth 50–50 in educating each genders
  2. Parents should give away their wealth equally among both genders
  3. Men and Women should spend equal time, money and effort in tending to senile Parents

Concluding Remarks

There could be more key results that can come as part of the cultural shifts I mentioned. But, I believe by producing these results we can effectively say we are closer to gender equality more than ever.

Natural evolution might have been the start of gender inequality. But we humans are better than natural evolution. We possess unique cognitive abilities to create and transform cultures. Our rate of cultural change is faster than evolution. Only by transforming our culture, we hope to be equal



Mahidhar K
Know Thyself, Heal Thyself

A Product Manager | Interested in Mathematics, philosophy and trekking.