How to build a challenge dashboard: The difference between men and women, parental leave

Tools used in this project
 How to build a challenge dashboard: The difference between men and women, parental leave

About this project


The Objective

For this challenge, you need to create an impactful visual using the data you've been given. This image will be used in an online business journal.

I made a couple of assumptions;

  • the article will be read by business people, so some experience reading a visual is to be expected but still, keep it simple.
  • no dashboard, only 1 (grouped) visual
  • focus on 1 aspect to keep it clean
  • no interaction with the visual possible

Link to the challenge description

The Data

There is only 1 CVS table to work with, Link to the data. This table is pivoted and gives you in 4 columns the number of weeks a company has parental leave in their policy. The information is split into women versus men and paid vs unpaid.

If parental leave is in the policy but not available, the value is 0 and the zero is used for the calculation of the average weeks, if not in the policy, there is no value (N/A), and I haven't put that company in the average week's calculation.


The Analysis

I started my analyses in Power BI, unpivot the table and made slicer tables for company, industry, sub-industry, and leave type. After the first analyses, I stepped over to Excel to make life easier.

I decided to focus on the difference in policies for men and women, especially the paid ones.

For each leave type, so for the 4 columns given, I counted

  • number of companies with a zero
  • number of companies N/A
  • number of companies with a number of weeks > 0

From there I calculated the percentage of companies having that certain leave policy and the average number of weeks. 4 times (4 leave types) 2 numbers ( a % and an average) to visualize.

The Visuals

It was pretty clear to me that I wanted to group the 8 numbers in the 4 parental leave groups as clearly as possible and uniformly. I do like circles and donuts so I googled "infographic with circles". There I found a donut in combination with a card and I tried that out in Excel.


The Key Insights

For this visual, I focused on overall the difference between men vs women and paid vs unpaid.

I found the following insights

  • almost all companies have a paid maternity leave
  • only 16% of the companies do have a paid paternity leave
  • 59% of the companies also have the possibility for unpaid maternity leave versus 3% of the companies having the possibility for unpaid parental leave
  • The average number of permitted weeks of leave also differs between women and men but is less noticeable, 11,3 vs 8,2 weeks, 27,4% less for men.

Because this has to be an impactful visual, instead of a dashboard, I had to focus. There is so much more to dive in, like industry differences. But with too many dimensions and details, it is almost impossible to deliver a clear visual suitable for an article in an online magazine.

The Design

I aimed for a clear design in which both questions and answers are easy to find, read, and understand.

  • It has to be perfectly aligned, without any noise
  • There must be a clear difference between men and women, I didn't go for pink and blue but choose bright green and blue, happy colors to me, to make the visual attractive
  • The text had to be clear, to the point, and easy to relate to the right donut charts. So the same green and blue are both used for the highlights and the donut charts
  • A little graphic of a pregnant woman is added to help realize what the content is about
  • Finally, a little comment is added to the bottom left corner to explain the big % numbers in the donut. It happened not to be clear enough to some test readers


This is a very nice challenge to practice storytelling skills that I normally don't use this way.

Discussion and feedback(0 comments)
2000 characters remaining