Gender, Diversity and Innovation


Gender, Diversity and Innovation

Concepts, Policies and Practice

9781800377455 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Beldina Owalla, Oxford Brookes Business School, Tim Vorley, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Helen Lawton Smith, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Department of Management, Centre of Innovation Management Research, Birkbeck University of London, UK
Publication Date: 2022 ISBN: 978 1 80037 745 5 Extent: 272 pp
Presenting fascinating new insights on gender and innovation with a central focus on the experiences of women innovators, this book explores different geographic and institutional contexts through a series of in-depth case studies. It investigates how intersecting characteristics such as age, race and ethnicity as well as broader contextual factors enable and constrain the innovation activities and ambitions of women.

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This edited collection presents fascinating new insights on gender and innovation with a central focus on the experiences of women innovators, exploring different geographic and institutional contexts through a series of in-depth case studies. It investigates how intersecting characteristics such as age, race and ethnicity as well as broader contextual and institutional factors enable and constrain the innovation activities and ambitions of women.

Drawing on different theoretical perspectives, expert contributors interrogate questions of gender and innovation to examine the multiple factors influencing women innovators in the contemporary world. The book also engages with how policies can support diversity and inclusion within innovation, an area that has historically been highly gendered. Further to this, it recommends actions to take to support the development of inclusive practices, and identifies directions for future research.

Exploring the diversity of gender and innovation as a concept as well as in practice, this book will be a stimulating resource for scholars, educators and students who wish to gain an overview of the topic. Policy makers and practitioners will find the insights on how policies and initiatives can achieve great equality and diversity informative and illuminating.
Critical Acclaim
‘Gender, Diversity and Innovation: Concepts, Policies and Practice provides an up-to-date state of the art of what we currently know on diversity, and moreover, on gender diversity. By providing results on on-going research, it brings a fresh and valuable overview on how diversity and inclusion occur across contexts, especially across cultures and countries. Besides, the uniqueness and novelty in this book is the consideration of new working practices and new technological breakthroughs such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), and raises the debate on how these changes can foster or reduce inclusion. For sure, this book, based on scientific results, can inspire not only scholars but also practitioners, educators, as well as policy makers, basically anyone who wants to promote an inclusive economy.’
– Séverine Le Loarne-Lemaire, Grenoble Ecole de Management, France

‘This edited collection provides research insights into the challenges faced by women in entrepreneurship and innovation. These insights are particularly valuable to our WEgate community, an initiative partly funded by the European Commission, that is focused on supporting women across Europe to develop and grow their businesses. The original research presented in this book chapters can help policy makers, investors and other stakeholders within the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation, to develop and adopt evidence-based interventions to support women engaged in entrepreneurship and innovation.’
– Gabriela K. Bogoeska, Foundation for Management and Industrial Research and WEgate Coordinator (

‘This book is a timely and valuable addition to contemporary narratives on diversity and inclusion. In Gender, Diversity and Innovation: Concepts, Policies and Practice, the editors have assembled a robust collection of scholarly contributions that help deconstruct the concept of diversity, revealing it in all its forms. The international contributions highlight the challenges of diversity in a range of contexts - geographical and sectoral - covering issues relating to funding, technology transfer and acquisition, healthcare and  science across continents, and drawing attention to innovation in underrepresented forms. Policies, initiatives and ecosystems needed to support diversity within innovation are also discussed. Accordingly, this book will be a valuable tool for policy makers, educators and those involved in supporting the development of innovation within their regions and beyond. The book will enhance understanding - in both theory and practice - of the concept of innovation, and thus, will also appeal to scholars, whether established or new to the field.’
– Colette Henry, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland and Griffith University, Australia

‘This book peels back multiple layers to expose the complexities of gender and diversity in the context of innovation, public policies, gendering innovation, and measures to support equity in and through innovation. Readers are offered a comprehensive digest of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that highlight intersectional influences in both developing and developed economies. The book also captures the practicalities of inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs and academics with the theoretical tensions inherent in identity, femininity and recognition politics, including non-identitarian or post-equity gender theory.

From a case-based social innovations in healthcare to cross-cultural comparisons of Artificial Intelligence policies, the authors collectively offer multiple recommendations to help address marginalization within innovation spaces, new technology-based firms, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths). Unified by a focus on gender and subordination, the curated collection of articles is a must-read for entrepreneurship scholars, scientists and policymakers who seek to extend the influence of research and policy to enhance empowerment, equality, equity, and non-discrimination.’
– Barbara Orser, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Canada

‘Understanding how diversity matters for innovation and entrepreneurship has never been more topical in the context of the digital transformation of our societies. In Gender, Diversity and Innovation: Concepts, Policies and Practice, Beldina Owalla, Tim Vorley, and Helen Lawton Smith challenge us into thinking about innovation and entrepreneurship more inclusively. They illuminate how innovation policies and initiatives have largely remained gender blind, and what can be gained from gender diversity in creativity and innovation processes. People reading this book will truly benefit for the wealth of inspirational examples of how to promote gender inclusive innovation, allowing them to put theory into policy and practice.’
– Anne Laure Humbert, Oxford Brookes University, UK

‘This edited volume assembles leading researchers across career stages and geographies to explore current topics in innovation, through a gendered lens. Taken together, the authors investigate a multitude of theoretical lenses, and offer insights for practice and policy.’
– Siri Terjesen, Florida Atlantic University, US

‘An excellent book which I enjoyed reading, with much food for thought and much to learn from. The editors put together a great group of international scholars who contribute novel insights to the complex theme of gender, diversity, and innovation in entrepreneurship research. Contributors discuss the interplay of gender, diversity and innovation in different contexts, examine new technologies and their gendered impact, and highlight implications for policies and practice. Definitely a must-read for all those interested in up-to-date perspectives on gender, diversity and innovation.’
– Friederike Welter, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn and University of Siegen, Germany
Contributors: James Bort, Silvia Cervia, Wendy Cukier, Cecelia Dotzler, Cynthia Forson, Jodi-Ann Francis-Walker, Maria Gloria González-Morales, Heather Griffiths, Helen Lawton Smith, Azzurra Meoli, Rosa Morale, Elvis Nyanzu, Priscilla Otuo, Beldina Owalla, Afua Owusu-Kwarteng, Ilenia Picardi, Vishal Rituraj, Katindi Sivi, Alexis Still, Besrat Tesfaye, Victoria Tonks, Charikleia Tzanakou, Vidhula Venugopal, Allan Villegas-Mateos, Tim Vorley, Christina Wainikka, Anthony N-Yelkabong, Guang Ying Mo

Foreword by Dr Emily Nott xii
Acknowledgements xiv
1 Introduction: promoting inclusive innovation 1
Tim Vorley, Helen Lawton Smith and Beldina Owalla

2 Gender and innovation strategy in crowdfunding 15
James Bort and Azzurra Meoli
3 A gendered multi-level model of STEM entrepreneurship 29
Cecelia Dotzler and M. Gloria González-Morales
4 Increasing women’s representation as founders of
university spinout companies: a case for action 46
Heather Griffiths, Simonetta Manfredi, Alexis Still and
Charikleia Tzanakou
5 Women entrepreneurs in new technology-based businesses
in Sweden: experiences as inventors, innovators, and
entrepreneurs 63
Besrat Tesfaye and Christina Wainikka
6 Is gender an inhibitor to innovation and entrepreneurial
activity in the Democratic Republic of Congo? 80
Victoria Tonks and Helen Lawton Smith
7 From gendered social innovation to gendering social
innovation and co-production in healthcare settings 96
Silvia Cervia
8 Underrepresented innovators: an assessment of innovation
activities in women-led businesses in the UK 110
Beldina Owalla, Tim Vorley and Elvis Nyanzu

9 Beyond Siri and Alexa: gender and AI policy 125
Vidhula Venugopal and Vishal Rituraj
10 Targeting in targeted funds: how inclusion policies and
programs can exclude intended beneficiaries 148
Katindi Sivi
11 Making gendered science: a feminist perspective on
the epistemology of innovation based on science and
technology studies 167
Ilenia Picardi
12 The impact of institutional voids on female innovation in
emerging countries 185
Allan Villegas-Mateos and Rosa Morales
13 Informal institutional structures and legitimacy perceptions
of female innovation in sub-Saharan Africa: a conceptual
framework 202
Priscilla Otuo, Cynthia Forson, Afua Owusu-Kwarteng
and Anthony N-Yelkabong
14 Women’s entrepreneurship in the inclusive innovation
ecosystem in Canada 223
Wendy Cukier, Guang Ying Mo and Jodi-Ann Francis

15 Afterword 240
Beldina Owalla, Tim Vorley and Helen Lawton Smith

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