The IRB WIN event
The project acknowledges that gender stereotypes also exist in the business sector and that more women in STEM are needed. Each GEP implementing partner had to organise its WIN event. In particular, the WIN event had a double fold aim: on one side it highlighted and valued women’s led innovations presenting startups and spin offs and examples of gender sensitive product development/design; on the other hand, it raised awareness to attract more girls to STEM research.
The IRB WIN event was held on the 14th of June, and it was attended by 50 people. The event was structured into two sessions, one round table, and one workshop.
The Round Table served as an instrument to understand the steps that women innovators take in order to achieve their entrepreneurial objectives, the support they get and the barriers they face. The participants provided a broad overview of their experiences and personal challenges. As the topic developed, the second part of the round table gave the opportunity to the speakers to provide suggestions and areas of improvement to solve the challenges each of them presented. Finally, the participants shared their general overview of how they would motivate other women to pursue their innovation and entrepreneurial journey.
The topic of the workshop was “design thinking in innovation with gender perspective”. The workshop was delivered by WeEQUAL, a consultancy company with expertise in supporting the corporate empowerment of women and diversity in the workplace. The workshop included a brief introductory section on “Design Thinking” followed by a hands-on interactive section. It provided a general overview of what is design thinking in innovation from a gender perspective. It was intended to provide a “tool” to analyse and plan new ideas, goals, or any objective participants may have in their professional careers.
The event was fruitful, and a series of conclusions were extracted, having into consideration the interactions of the round table but also complimented by the dynamics of the workshop.
- Training is crucial.
- Mentoring Programmes are key to the development of women in innovation.
- Equality and diversity should be taken into consideration in the conformation of: panels, speakers, boards, and product testers, among others.
- Networking should be considered a very important tool in the innovative and entrepreneurial journey. Women should improve their networking rate.
- In the innovation ecosystem, “empathy” should be highly valued and set into practice
- Data on the development of women in innovation should be always present in order to educate and generate awareness.
The WIN event is part of the GEP actions of IRB.