About GAP

The Women and Public Policy Program’s Gender Action Portal (GAP) is a collection of research evaluating the impact of specific policies, strategies, and organizational practices to advance gender equity. GAP focuses on experimental approaches to evaluate policies—both in the field and in the laboratory—and draws from multiple disciplines, including economics, psychology, and organizational behavior.

We thank Pivotal Ventures, the Women’s Leadership Board and the Abigail E. Disney Endowment Fund for the seed funding to launch the Gender Action Portal and their continued investment to advance and scale the impact of this online research tool.

Our Methodology

The research included in GAP primarily focuses on experimental approaches, with an emphasis on Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) conducted in the field or laboratory. In RCTs, study participants are randomly assigned to control and treatment groups, which allows researchers to test the impact of a given intervention on two (statistically) identical groups of people. By comparing the outcomes in the treatment group with those of the untreated (control) group, we can evaluate the impact of a new policy, management practice, or leadership style and demonstrate causality.

GAP also includes studies utilizing quasi-experimental methodologies (e.g., difference-in-difference, instrumental variable regressions) in order to include evidence that either cannot or has not been evaluated experimentally. The primary distinction between these quasi-experimental methods and RCTs is randomization: RCTs require that participation and non-participation in the treatment is determined randomly. As a result, RCTs allow researchers to make clean causal inferences between interventions (or treatments) and outcomes, whereas this is more complicated when employing quasi-experimental methods.

GAP's Impact!

GAP has been translating research into action since 2014. At the end of 2023, GAP celebrated hitting one million users


For questions regarding the GAP selection process, summary production, or media inquiries please contact Anisha Asundi, WAPPP Director of Research and Programs, at anisha_asundi@hks.harvard.edu