There is a number of success factors for gender equality work in preschools and schools that have been presented by Mia Heikkilä in a report on sustainable gender equality work in Nordic schools and preschools – Hållbart jämställdhetsarbete i förskolan och skolan i Norden.
Heikkilä’s study shows that a crucial factor for the implementation of gender equality work in preschools and schools is attitude to and awareness of a specific knowledge on gender and gender equality that is needed for the process of development and change. Support from the school management is another necessary element of sustainable gender equality work. If the management does not clearly express its support for the development of work on gender and gender equality, then this work will not be sustainable and integrated. It is also very important to set common goals that are supported throughout all levels of the organization and to have an organization structure and resources for monitoring their implementation and follow-up. Moreover, Mia Heikkilä points out the significance of the development climate, which characterizes the openness to develop opportunities in the field of gender and gender equality.
Heikkilä emphasizes the role of children and students in planning and implementing gender equality initiatives. If children and students are not involved in designing of these initiatives, there is a great risk that the planned activities will not be efficient or will not have a relevant impact on the target group. Last, but not least, the report shows that effective steering documents are crucial to successful gender equality work. It is important that the school legislation and national curriculum are supportive of the work. The countries that do not have regulations regarding equality in the national curriculum also tend to not have an active work in progress, according to Heikkilä.