Appraising gender equity in social and digital innovation in 20 EU countries

Social and digital innovations are being developed in the European Union. EQUALS-EU brings a fresh perspective on the extent to which the products being delivered to society as well as the processes involved in getting to these innovations are gender balanced. This is required in light of data that suggests that progress in gender equality in the union appears to be on the decline.

EQUALS EU logo: Equals text in purple, the q is formed of an o with an equals sign inside it, an arrow is about to click it to form the letter q. EU written in white in an orange box

EQUALS-EU is a regional focus on the state of digital innovation in the European Union (EU). As a stream of the global EQUALS partnership, EQUALS-EU, recognises the impact of COVID-19 on the progress towards gender equity in innovation processes. The EU’s Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 underscores the inclusivity in all sectors, available equal opportunities to women, men girls and boys in all their diversity. An ambitious outcome for the project is an EQUALS-EU network that will have regional presence with three core focus areas

Skillsensuring that future innovation has inclusive practices with enagement from skilled women and girls
Leadershipmoving women and girls from the periphery to the centre of decision making by promoting their involvement in
Researchthe value of data in spurring action where support and gaps are exposed cannot be over emphasised.

SPIDER is a member to the EQUALS-EU regional partnership through Stockholm University. SPIDER’s work stream in the project is to understand the extent of engagement with gender in innovation processes and products in 20 countries in the union and 2 associate countries. This activity entails a baseline survey, which will result in a country specific compendium of gender equity in social and digital innovations ecosystems. The ensuring work streams will depend on the data gathered through the SPIDER work stream.

The questionnaire was developed and piloted during the first quarter of 2021. Based on the responses from 6 countries in the EU and 1 associate country, reformulation of the questions and the general order of the questions is underway. At the same time the data from the pilot is currently being evaluated to identify what networks are currently out there and how they work with gender equity. But the value and role of data in this project cannot be over emphasised in not only determining who is working with gender equity but how they are working with questions around gender balance in innovations. The same data will be useful in informing future methods of application in working with questions of inclusion, as well as inform policy. The compendium will be a valuable resource in helping to raise the profile of innovations that promote equality of women and girls.