Asee peer logo

Adapting the Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to Engineering: A Digital Tool to Aid Inclusive Design

Download Paper |


2024 Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity (CoNECD)


Arlington, Virginia

Publication Date

February 25, 2024

Start Date

February 25, 2024

End Date

February 27, 2024

Conference Session

Track 8: Technical Session 2: Adapting the Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to Engineering: A Digital Tool to Aid Inclusive Design

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Sessions

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Audrey Anne Blanchet Université de Sherbrooke

visit author page

Audrey Anne Blanchet (M.A ès Art) holds a master's degree in political science and pursued doctoral studies in political sociology. She is currently Coordinator of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the Université de Sherbrooke's Faculty of Engineering, and Co-President of the Réseau interuniversité québécois en équité, diversité et inclusion. Her expertise lies in the inclusion of women, cultural minorities, and youth (aged 18-35) in places of power and male-dominated environments. She has experience in inclusive project management and in supporting organizations in implementing EDI practices.

visit author page


Nathalie Roy Université de Sherbrooke

visit author page

Pre Nathalie Roy obtained her PhD in 2006 and she is professor in the Department of Building and Civil Engineering at the Université de Sherbrooke since 2009. She has been the Faculty advisor of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) student chapter from 2009 to 2020. She is currently Deputy co-chair of the Engineering Mechanics and Material Division and a member of the regional committee – Quebec. It was a great honor for her to chair the Technical Program Committee of the CSCE annual conference held in Laval, Quebec in June 2019.
In 2021, she was appointed Vice-Dean of undergraduate studies and for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) of the Faculty of Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke. Beside her many contributions related to EDI and her involvements in various student’s projects, she is still quite involved in research. Her main fields of research interest are structural dynamics and earthquake, along with large-scale testing of structural elements. She is an active member of several research groups and associations.
Professor Roy is committed to and supports the involvement of students in international cooperation projects. Seeing the importance of helping disadvantaged communities through the knowledge acquired during engineering programs, Dr Roy became a member of the Université de Sherbrooke International Collaborative Group (GCIUS) which is a student non-profit organization. Since 2002, the group has been working on high impact civil engineering sustainability projects in developing countries. Nathalie was quite involved in the projects and went on site with the students in Malawi (2014), Nepal (2016), Tanzania (2017), Ghana (2018), Benin (2019-2022), Ouganda and Côte d'Ivoire (2023).

visit author page

Download Paper |


In Québec as well as in Canada, principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are not explicitly taught in engineering programs. What's more, there are few tools conveying these principles that are adapted to the context of engineering practice.

With a view to pedagogical innovation, we are currently developing a digital tool to aid inclusive design in engineering. It aims at integrating the EDI principles into the training curriculum of undergraduate students by learning how to measure the impact of a design project on gender and other population groups. This way, we promote integration of social justice into curricular activities. The project will encourage the development of professional behavior and responsible citizenship and will enrich the development of skills in design and in analyzing the impact of engineering on society and the environment. In Canada, engineering programs must meet the accreditation standard required by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board to be certified and active. This requires graduates to develop 12 qualities, including design (Q04) and impact analysis (Q09).

The core of the pedagogical innovation approach is the adaptation of Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to the design process and the development of a digital tool to aid inclusive design based on engineering scenarios. GBA+ is a cross-cutting, intersectional analytical tool that assesses systemic inequalities and determines the potential impacts of policies, programs, and initiatives on different population groups, particularly on gender. This methodology, introduced by the Canadian federal government in mid-90s, unleashed the invisible identity factors to innovate, explore the unknown and develop more rigorous community-centered solutions to address diversity, inclusion and equity.

To support the implementation of the tool into the training of undergraduate students, we will (1) train teachers so that they are equipped to support students in using this tool in a pedagogical design activity and (2) train students in using this tool in a design project.

This pedagogical innovation fills a gap in the training of future engineers and reinforce the commitment to enhance the consideration of diversity and inclusion of underrepresented groups especially women into the design process.

We are currently at the stage of analyzing and designing the digital tool. We are working with three engineering programs at Université de Sherbrooke: civil, mechanical, and robotic. The team's roles are (1) to identify scenarios based on examples of design projects related to each engineering field, (2) validate the tool and (3) identify training needs for professors and students so that the tool can be integrated into the training curriculum of undergraduate students.

During this conference, the development process of the digital tool for inclusive design will be shared. We will present the pedagogical and innovative context in which this tool was designed. The steps involved in analyzing and designing the tool will be discussed, along with challenges and success factors.

Blanchet, A. A., & Roy, N. (2024, February), Adapting the Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to Engineering: A Digital Tool to Aid Inclusive Design Paper presented at 2024 Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity (CoNECD), Arlington, Virginia. 10.18260/1-2--45428

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2024 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015