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Development and Management of Northwest Women and Work Taskforce




5pm Monday 7th September 2009


We require 2 hard copies and an electronic version of your submission, emailed to


The Northwest Development Agency’s Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract for Services shall apply.

Evelyn Asante-Mensah 4th August 2009 Northwest Regional Development Agency Renaissance House Centre Park Warrington WA1 1QN



The Northwest Regional Development Agency and partners (4NW Regional Leaders Forum and Government Office North West); wish to commission work to set up a North West Women and Work Task Force to identify issues, barriers and solutions to the Development of Female Leaders in the Region. In January 2009 the NWDA commissioned a piece of work to develop a proposition for the development of a Women and Work Taskforce for the North West. Issues raised in the proposition included: • fewer women than men are economically active, BME women especially Pakistani and Bangladeshi women ) are much less likely to be economically active; therefore meeting the NWDA target of 80%

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employment rate requires an approach which engages more women in the labour market. Male employment rate in the North West is 75% compared to 68.6 for women Women are half as likely as men to set up their own business Women are under-represented in leadership positions in the region and there is a serious lack of BME or visibly disabled women in leadership positions within the region which means we are underutilising the talents within the region. Female managers are paid on average 12% less than men doing the same role and in 2005 women’s average hourly earnings in the North West were 12.7% less than men in the region. 54% of women who are employed work part-time. An EOC investigation in 2005 found that 4 out of 5 people in part-time jobs were working below their potential.

Industries and sectors which are being seen as key to economic recovery in the region, such as engineering, bio-medical and digital media do not currently attract very many women and yet are likely to face skills shortages in the medium to long term. We need to harness the skills and creativity of all our people in order to pull the region out of the current economic downturn. A recent report by Ernst and Young concludes “The evidence is compelling that women can be powerful drivers of economic development. It is time to place renewed emphasis on women as resource to move business and economies ahead. The national Women and Work Commission estimated that increasing and changing women’s participation in the labour market could be worth between 15 billion and 23 billion a year. If there was the same proportion of women to men in higher level occupations in the North West, we estimated that it would deliver up to 16 billion higher gross income. The subject of women and work is a vast one, encompassing participation, pay, progression and enterprise. Despite many years of research, policy interventions, legislation and awareness campaigns some intractable issues still exist. The Women and Work Task Force will focus on a limited number of regional – specific opportunities to make a tangible difference. It has been agreed by the Agency and our partners (Government Office North West; 4 North West and NHS North West) to focus the work on the Development of Female Leaders in the region. 2.


The project is to set up, develop and manage a Women and Work Taskforce for the North West focused on ‘Developing female leaders within the North West region. The successful contractor will be responsible for the following: • Set up and manage the NW Women and Work Taskforce (made up of external and internal stakeholders) providing a full range of secretariat support to the Taskforce members i.e. Co-ordinating and RFQ001 V3/AO Issued: Jan 2008


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organising meetings; ensuring papers are circulated to the Taskforce members at least 1 week in advance of meetings. It is envisaged that there will be 6 (day long) meetings over the course of the project. Publicise and recruit regional stakeholders to be part of the Taskforce. Taskforce members to be launched at Regional Equality and Diversity Conference – 11th November 2009 Co-ordinate a number of evidence hearings to be agreed with the Chair of the Taskforce – including all associated administration such as venue hire, travel arrangements, organising refreshments etc.. Identifying evidence requirements of the Taskforce and facilitate the development of this evidence, ensuring that they have relevant and timely information. Where appropriate identify where primary research may need to be commissioned, and managing the commissioning of that research. Prepare written evidence in advance of taskforce meetings. Undertaking desk research to identify good practice on engaging women in senior level positions. Produce papers and reports for the Taskforce to enable them to effectively undertake their work. Produce a final report with clear recommendations to feed into RS2010 consultation between January – March 2010.

The Taskforce will be a task and finish group for a maximum of 6 months (October 2009 – March 2010). It is likely to meet approximately 6 times (to be determined with the chair and NWDA; the first to agree scope and develop an action plan; a number of evidence meetings and a final meeting to agree recommendations and plan of action going forward. Recommendations will need to feed into RS2010. The key hook will be to feed into the RS2010 and the work of the BME Advisory Group currently being led by GONW. The overall aims and objectives of the NW Women and Work Taskforce fall into short, medium and long term. Short term these are: 1. Set baseline figures and targets against long term outcomes below to ensure we can measure the impact of any new initiatives. 2. Identify gaps in our knowledge about women’s economic contribution in the region and how these can be filled. 3. investigate the impact of the multiplier effect on economic participation and progression for young women, over 50’s, BME, disabled women and women with low qualifications 4. It will also identify potential barriers to the inclusion of women in senior positions and make recommendations on how these can be effectively and sustainably addressed. Medium term: 1. Identify opportunities in 2 – 3 growth sectors for increasing leadership opportunities and identify the skill needs. 2. Identify examples of leadership development schemes which have increased opportunities for women and opportunities for extending these

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3. Look at support needs of women in senior roles in business both employed and entrepreneurs. 4. Look at what promotional opportunities are available for women who take a career break to get them back into employment 5. Identify ways in which BME women can be encouraged into leadership roles, especially those in public sector. 6. Identify opportunities for encouraging women into non-exec roles in the public and private sector 7. Identify leadership development schemes which work for women from different backgrounds and look at how these could be extended. 8. Identify examples of where procurement has been used as a lever to improve women’s participation, pay and progression in the work force. 9. Identify and share examples of good practice which can be scaled up or transferred. 10. Develop 3 – 5 practical recommendations which can be embedded in the Regional Strategy 2010. Leading to recommendations that would lead to the following long term outcomes for the region (through the RS2010 and other regional plans) 1. to increase the percentage of women in senior positions in the NW workforce 2. to increase the number of female business owners 3. to increase the number of women at director / board level 4. To increase the number of women leaders in public life 5. To increase the number of women working in industries predicted to lead the economic recovery in the NW. Whilst the focus of the Women and Work Taskforce will be on developing female leaders within the region recognising the complexity of issues, there will be opportunities for the taskforce to look at issues of: • Caring • Underlying causes of the gender pay gap and • Flexible working opportunities at senior levels. 3.


This is a partnership piece of work between NWDA, GONW, 4NW and NHSNW. The scope of the work will include the need for a secretariat/policy to support and co-ordinate the Taskforce including organising meetings, gathering evidence, ensuring that they have relevant information etc. and produce papers to enable them to undertake their work effectively. The successful contractor will work very closely with the partners to ensure the successful delivery of the objectives. It is essential that the work builds on and compliments work undertaken regionally and nationally on Women and Work 4.


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The contractor will be expected to develop a detailed plan and methodology for completion of the work which will include: • •

Recruiting Taskforce members and Chair. supporting the Taskforce to identify the best methodology for undertaking the work including: • evidence gathering and research methodologies • calls for evidence • Writing up and analysis of evidence and production of report and recommendations. The contractors will be expected to also detail in their plan how they will ensure that that the work of the Taskforce reflects the diversity within the region. 5.

OUTPUTS • • • •

Six (day long) Taskforce meetings; including full record of proceedings. An action plan for the taskforce including schedule of meetings and agenda for meetings. Robust methodologies for gathering evidence for the Taskforce resulting in series of Evidence papers in support of the Taskforce. Final Report including recommendations. Final report to be delivered electronically, with a number of hard copies, including an executive summary + final presentation. (Final report to include: executive summary; introduction; detail of evidence; analysis of evidence; examples of good practice and robust recommendations).

The outputs should include all the findings clearly presented and defined with a strong focus on actions and interventions needed. • • • • 7.

Contractors will need to cost in presentations of the outputs to : NWDA Equality and Economic Inclusion Sub Committee Equality Strategy Group and NW Equality and Diversity Group. NW BME Advisory Group PROJECT MANAGEMENT

The project will be managed internally within the NWDA by Evelyn AsanteMensah Head of Equality and Economic Inclusion. The successful contractor will be required to identify a project manager from within their team to co-ordinate the day to day management of the work who will report to Evelyn Asante-Mensah. This will be done through regular monthly meetings and progress reports. Any subcontractors to be used must be stated in the contractor’s bid and cannot be changed without the prior written permission of the Agency.

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The deadline for responses: 5pm 7th September 2009 Interviews: Week commencing 14th September 2009 The contractor will be expected to commence work upon award of the contract. It is anticipated that the completion of the full project will be March 31st 2010. 9.


Criteria for appraising responses submitted for this RFQ are: Criteria for assessment Knowledge and expertise of the Areas covered by the Women and Work Commission Suppliers’ proposals in meeting the requirements of the project. The degree to which outputs will be achieved in the required timescales as given in their proposals Cost and subsequent value for money offered Total

Weighting 25% 25% 20% 30% 100%

Scoring Mechanism The following scoring methodology will be adopted in scoring the responses to this RFQ Scoring Methodology Supplier does not meet the minimum requirement as specified or has not responded to the specific criteria Supplier’s response partially meets the minimum specified requirements and hence there are reservations Supplier’s response fully meets the minimum requirements Supplier response usefully exceeds the minimum specified requirements and offers improved value for money (VFM) For information only and does not attract a score Perceived as mission critical requirements and thus will not attract a score or weighting but will determine whether or not a supplier remains in the process

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Score 0 0.5 0.9 1




FORMAT OF PROPOSAL Your proposal should be structured as follows: • • •

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Introduction Project Appreciation - a clear understanding of what is required in terms of the delivery of the services to be provided, demonstrating knowledge and expertise of the subject area. The supplier’s proposals for meeting the specified requirements, and a method statement outlining “how” they propose to meet the required aims of objectives as set out above. The suppliers method statements should include as a minimum: o Work plan and staffing (including a full schedule and milestone delivery) o Details of any subcontractors to be used in the delivery of the project, outlining their roles and responsibilities and elements of the project that it is proposed is delivered by subcontractors. Demonstration of experience of providing similar projects / pieces of work (A4 page summary of experience), including CVs of key personnel to be attached to the account (one A4 page summary per person) References of 3 major contracts awarded within the last 2 years for services similar to those required by the Agency. Financial proposal (see below)

FINANCIAL PROPOSAL • • • • • • • • • • •

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Fixed price for whole project to include: Project Management fees for the service to be delivered (based on an 8 hour day) Schedule of rates for personnel proposed to deliver the service on an 8 hour daily rate Administration costs; Costs for Taskforce and evidence hearings including travel, venue hire, refreshments etc. 4 presentations as detailed above Travel and subsistence; Publication costs; Overheads; Other costs (to be specified); All costs should be quoted exclusive of VAT