Gendered Design in STEAM: A Virtual Research Portal

What is Gendered Innovation & Design?

Borrowing from L. Schiebinger of Stanford University, the IDRC refers to “gendered innovations” as constituting new or improved products and processes designed using sex and gender analysis, generating substantial benefits for society and advancing gender equality. The IDRC, whose mandate is to support research and develop capacity in LMICs, has expressed interest in promoting gendered innovations that are focused on:

Gender responsive innovations: which integrate gender in their rationale, design, and methodology, and rigorously analyze gender inequalities to inform implementation, communication, and influence strategies. The innovation does not address structural power relations that lead to gender inequalities.

Gender transformative innovations: which examine, analyze, and build an evidence base to inform long-term practical changes in structural power relations and norms, roles and inequalities that define the differentiated experiences of men and women.

The concept of “Gendered innovations” was first developed by scholars at Stanford University with the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, while participating in a 2005 international workshop, funded, in part, by the National Science Foundation. Historian of science and technology, Londa Schiebinger, in particular has been at the forefront of this move toward “gendered innovation”. 

Schiebinger coined the term itself in 2005 and defines it as “transformations in the personnel, cultures and context of science and engineering brought about by efforts to remove gender bias from these fields.”¹ As Schiebinger argues, “Gender analysis, when applied rigorously and creatively, has the potential to enhance human knowledge and technical systems by opening them to new perspectives, new questions, and new missions.”²

Gendered Design seeks to build upon this momentum, as it pertains to the ongoing work coming out of Stanford, as well as a variety of others working and living within the Global South especially. Within the context of this project, Gendered Design is defined as reflecting upon and incorporating gendered considerations when designing technological-based solutions, applications, methods or processes.  

Web Resources 

The International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA), "Toward Bridging Gender Equality & Innovation" (October, 2018) 

Gendered Innovations in Science, Health and Medicine, Engineering and the Environment, Stanford University 


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