Entain Foundation backs Gendered Innovations training scheme

| By Conor Mulheir
Entain’s charitable arm, the Entain Foundation, is supporting the development of an international training programme to enhance Gendered Innovations, with the aim of encouraging the consideration of gender perspectives in innovation and research.

The programme is being developed with the support of the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) and international human rights research and policy centre the Nexus Institute. It is aimed at innovation managers, founders and start-ups, as well as R&D personnel in the private sector, higher education and research organisations.

The concept of Gendered Innovations was developed by a large international research consortium led by Stanford University and funded by the European Commission, in response to a lack of consideration of the impact of gender perspectives in R&D processes.

This has led to products, services and measures typically being designed from a male perspective, which therefore fail to account for the usage needs specific to females and create experiences which are sub-optimal for women and girls.

Gendered Innovations employs methods of sex, gender and intersectional analysis to create new knowledge in medicine, engineering and IT, and has gained more attention in recent academic discourse and is supported by numerous case studies, for example on gender bias in artificial intelligence.

Until now, Entain said, there has not been a set curriculum for teaching Gendered Innovations at universities or via online courses for industry representatives.

“Some products and services on the market were developed from a male perspective and can have negative consequences for women when using such products,” Franziska van Almsick, ambassador of the Entain Foundation, explained.

“For example, facial recognition technologies trained with biased datasets may be worse at recognising women than men. I’m delighted that the Entain Foundation is addressing this important issue, and I’m very impressed by its dedication to promoting diversity in the technology sector.”

Consisting of seven modules, the course combines theoretical teaching on Gendered Innovations with practical tips for implementation in participants’ own organisations.

The programme is being developed by a team led by Professor Hans-Liudger Dienel, head of the Department of Work, Technology and Participation at the Institute for Vocational Education and Work Education at TU Berlin, and also director of the Nexus institute.

The first two members of the programme’s advisory board are Professor Martina Schraudner and Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer.

Schraudner leads the Fraunhofer Centre for Responsible Research and Innovation, as well as the Department of Gender and Diversity in Technology and Product Development at TU Berlin. Since 2018, she has also been Member of the Management Board of acatech, Germany’s National Academy of Science and Engineering.

Pollitzer is the director of the London-based not-for-profit organisation Portia Ltd, which was founded in 2001 by a group of women scientists at Imperial College London to advance understanding of gender issues in science and organisational practices. Pollitzer is also the founder of the Gender Summit.

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