The existing data regarding gender and innovation show that women are less likely to carry out technologically based product and process innovations than men. This chapter presents some empirical evidence for Germany and proposes several conceptual explanations for these findings. With this, the chapter contributes to explaining gender-dependent differences regarding innovative behaviour based on the different contextual factors that foster and perpetuate, for example, traditional role expectations. These role expectations – among other aspects of the institutional framework (in particular with regard to tax and family policies) – have an impact on the development of various individual preferences regarding educational and professional choices and vice versa. Based on the authors’ exploratory evidence, the chapter concludes that women are not less innovative as such but that a combination of institutional constraints and traditional role models contributes to them self-selecting into female-typed professions and working structures, such as part-time work.
Teita Bijedić, Siegrun Brink, Kerstin Ettl, Silke Kriwoluzky and Friederike Welter
Emma Börjesson, Anna Isaksson, Sara Ilstedt and Karin Ehrnberger
The aim of this chapter is to discuss how norm-critical design with a gender perspective can reveal norms and in that way contribute to innovation. In order to illustrate this, the chapter is centred on a specific empirical example – the development of the norm-critical design concept the Androchair. The Androchair is an examination chair for men, but with a design based on women’s experiences of the gynaecological examination chair. Actor–network theory is used to analyse how the Androchair as a material object can visualize hidden norms, and the authors argue that norm-critical design is an unexploited tool for revealing norms and creating discussion and innovation. Norm-critical design can be a powerful tool that demonstrates needs that would perhaps otherwise be hard to see or overlooked because of various priorities. Breaking down norms provides new perspectives and creates opportunities to think outside of existing solutions.
Women have been innovating alongside men, yet their innovations have largely remained overlooked or discounted, often because the innovation has been less disruptive or has focused on female-dominated activities such as services and household production. But historically, even when innovative activity by women has been disruptive, it has often gone unnoticed. This chapter takes a closer look at three highly successful innovative female entrepreneurs in Latin America. The chapter analyses the case of Leila Velez in Brazil, co-founder and CEO of Beleza Natural, an innovative beauty institute chain. It analyses the case of Maria Claudia Mendez in Bolivia, founder of Origenes Bolivia, which specializes in creating upmarket fashion and household accessories made from alpaca and other natural fibres. It also analyses the case of Carolina Guerra in Colombia, co-founder of Ingerecuperar, a hazardous waste treatment and recycling company. By exploring their business developments, the chapter uncovers some of the gendered impediments that exist for innovative women in the Latin American context. Some of the examples are universal, while others are clearly linked to the specificities of the Latin American environment.
This chapter argues that mainstream perspectives on innovation are not only gender-biased, in several dimensions, but also context-biased and ethnocentric. The chapter reports from qualitative studies on the innovations occurring in the mundane everyday life of urban female SME owners in the three large countries of the East African Community, that is, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The selected cases from these studies illustrate the innovativity that is exercised, even required, by these women simply to sustain the livelihood of themselves and their families. Although the phenomenon of frugal and reverse innovation is gaining more and more ground in the literature, this everyday innovativeness of women in emerging economies, for example the East African, has yet to receive adequate attention.
Karla Straker and Cara Wrigley
Edited by Gry A. Alsos, Ulla Hytti and Elisabet Ljunggren
Innovation is seen as one of the main engines of economic growth creating prosperous nations and enabling technological development within industries and sectors This Handbook contributes to the field of innovation by providing a wide range of studies from different analytical and methodological perspectives and from various regional and industry contexts in order to pave the way forward. The multidisciplinary contributors discuss topics such as gender and innovation in new and small businesses, and growth businesses; addressing innovation in different organizational contexts ranging from public sector health care to mining and forestry; researching gender in innovation policy.
Laura H. Malinin, Alison Williams and Katharine Leigh
Malin Lindberg, Eira Andersson, Lisa Andersson and Maria Johansson
Using forestry and mining as empirical cases, the chapter analyses to what extent gender equality efforts in men-dominated industries can be understood as organizational innovations and how the degree of newness in these efforts affects the prospects of evoking structural changes in the gendered patterns of these industries. In the studied gender-equality efforts in one major forestry company and one major mining company in Sweden, carried out during the last ten years, innovative measures of creative workshops, cooperation with gender researchers, and challenging masculinities are identified. Their level of contextual innovativeness is high, although their universal innovativeness is low. The gendered aspects of the innovativeness encompass identification of hitherto unmet needs of gender equality among individuals, organizations and society to some extent. The prospects of the measures evoking structural change in a transformative way vary, with challenging masculinities exposing the highest potential, but only if thoroughly realized.