Gender Remains a Foundational Opportunity for Innovation

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Rebecca Keane
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
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404-894-1720
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International Symposium on Women in Science and Social Science

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A stellar roster of researchers presenting at the March 30 International Symposium, Women in Science and Social Science revealed a common theme: despite significant gains in the number of women entering the fields as professionals and academics, there remain huge opportunities to transform innovation by eliminating gender biases in personnel, institutional practices, cultural biases, and research methodologies.

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A stellar roster of researchers presenting at the March 30 International Symposium, Women in Science and Social Science revealed a common theme: despite significant gains in the number of women entering the fields as professionals and academics, there remain huge opportunities to transform innovation by eliminating gender biases in personnel, institutional practices, cultural biases, and research methodologies.

Ivan Allen College Dean Sue Rosser brought together scholars Londa Schiebinger, Hinds Professor of Science and Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University; Christine Waechter, Associate Professor at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria; Ruby Heap, Professor and Associate Vice President of Research at the University of Ottawa and Fulbright Scholar at the Ivan Allen College this Spring; and Donna Ginther, Associate Professor at the University of Kansas and Director of the Center for Economic and Business Analysis.

Schiebinger, lecturing on Gendered Innovations in Science and Medicine, identified three key areas of analysis and action: fix the number of women participating, fix the culture and institutions, and fix the knowledge by re-conceptualizing scientific research to include gender analysis.

Those themes were reinforced throughout the symposium. Rosser, in her opening remarks, noted that the large increase in women entering the sciences and social sciences masks a significant attrition. Ginther's studies of academia in the US Social Sciences demonstrated a large gap in the promotion of women with only 6-16% promoted to tenure and 9-11% of those promoted to full professorship. Heap cited a regression in the Canadian government's support for women's initiatives that has consigned understanding and promotion of gender dimensions in research back to women academic activists. Waechter demonstrated how traditional types of cultural biases in the European Union countries diminish advancement of women academic research.

In promoting the value of gendered innovation, Schiebinger emphasized the revolution in women's health brought about by gendered analysis, but noted that other fields of science have been slow to follow suit. The problem, Schiebinger said, is that academics are not taught to address sex and gender in their research. Schiebinger's Clayman Institute is taking the lead on the issue by launching a website focused on tools and training in gendered analytics.

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

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Institute and Campus, Special Events and Guest Speakers
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Keywords
International Symposium, Rosser symposium, Women in Science, women in social science
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  • Created By: Rebecca Keane
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Apr 16, 2009 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:02pm