In the past, insufficient consideration of the gender perspective in research and development processes has led to products, services and measures that are usually designed from a male perspective and do not take into account women-specific usage needs. This often leads to an inadequate or even harmful user experience for women and girls. In response, a large international research consortium led by Stanford University and funded by the European Commission has developed the concept of Gendered Innovations. Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Hans-Liudger Dienel, Managing Director of the nexus Institute and Head of the Department of Work Education, Technology and Participation at the Institute for Vocational Education and Work Education at the Technical University of Berlin, his team is developing a short-term training programme for managers to promote “Gendered Innovations“.
The project thus joins a list of internationally significant initiatives of the foundation. Gendered Innovations uses methods of sex, gender and intersectionality analysis to create new knowledge in medicine, technology and information and communication technology (ICT). The concept is now receiving attention in academic discourse and is now supported by numerous case studies (e.g. Gender Bias in AI). So far, however, there is no fixed curriculum for teaching gendered innovations at universities or in online trainings for industry representatives. The Executive Programme developed by the nexus Institute and the TU Berlin aims to close this gap. It is aimed at innovation managers, founders and start-ups as well as research and development staff in companies, universities and research organisations. The course, which consists of seven modules, combines theoretical knowledge transfer with practical tips for implementation in one’s own organisation. In the first four modules, participants learn about the theoretical background of the concept and methods for connecting it to their own organisational context.
In the second part, participants develop their own project ideas and transfer their knowledge into practice. The course ends with a pitching session where participants present and discuss their ideas. It also provides inspiration and background to promote the topic in one’s own organisation. In addition to the training programme, the development of an interactive map for geocoded gendered innovations is planned for next year, where companies can present relevant projects. The website developed especially for the programme provides basic information on the programme and the topic of Gendered Innovations. The course is offered in English. Prof. Dr. Schraudner and Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer sit on the advisory board, which is to be expanded. Prof. Dr Schraudner heads the Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation and the department of “Gender and Diversity in Technology and Product Development” at Technische Universität Berlin and has been on the board of acatech, the German Academy of Science and Engineering, since January 2018.
Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer is Chair of the London-based non-profit organisation Portia Ltd, which was founded in 2001 by a group of women scientists at Imperial College London to promote understanding of gender issues in science and organisational practices. Pollitzer is also the founder of the Gender Summit. Franziska van Almsick, Ambassador of the Entain Foundation, commented: “I am delighted that the Entain Foundation is dedicating itself to this important issue and I am impressed by its commitment to promoting diversity in the technology environment.” Prof. Dr. Hans-Liudger Dienel, Head of the Department of Work Education, Technology and Participation at the Institute for Vocational Education and Work Education at TU Berlin: “The gender perspective, like the diversity perspective, is an ‘eye opener’ for new innovative products and services! We want to convey this perspective in our Executive Programme.”
Duration: 08/2021 – 06/2022
Client: Entain Foundation
Team: Prof. Dr. Hans Luidger Dienel (Project management)
Project partner: Entain Foundation, TU Berlin