Co-design Labs & Gender Equality Solutions

The Gender STI Co-Design Labs engage STI stakeholders in a dynamic mix of workshops, demonstrations and guided hands-on teamwork based on design thinking principles.

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The project hosted a series of Co-Design Labs to develop prototype solutions for common challenges regarding gender inequalities in STI.


The Gender STI Project organized a series of co-design labs to enhance the gender perspective integration in science, technology and innovation (STI) through international dialogues. The sessions welcomed more than 100 participants, such as experts, researchers, company representatives, funding agencies, consulting companies, and universities from 18 countries across four continents.

These workshops focused on three challenges facing women in STI: gender equality in scientific careers, gender balance in decision-making, and the gender dimension in research and innovation content. The labs aimed to identify critical issues in these three areas and develop potential solutions through a facilitated design thinking process, contributing to integrating the gender perspective in STI international dialogues. Stakeholders that participated in the project’s Co-Design Labs were invited to join the Gender STI Community of Practice.

Participants discussed opportunities in their respective country or institution; and co-designed potential solutions that could be implemented to foment greater equality in these areas in the weeks, months, and years ahead. The lab sessions have created the environment to co-design and prototype solutions regarding gender inequalities in STI dialogues. The designed prototypes, organized by thematic areas and challenges are described below.

Prototypes Challenge 1: Gender equality in Scientific Careers

Gender Equality in Scientific-Careers
Exploring origins of gender stereotypes through simulation-based gaming
This prototype promotes intersectionality within the science culture, focusing on the impact of gender stereotypes, assessing the implicit bias of a person by playing a game, and providing a platform to promote diverse real-life role models.
Gender Equality in Scientific-Careers
Awakening and flourishing women's careers and vocations in STI through international gender equality awareness
This prototype aims at making flourish women STI careers by awakening and maintaining alive vocations in women along their lives through international gender equality awareness.
Gender Equality in Scientific-Careers
Use support and mentorship programs to assist females and women in networking, facing discrimination challenges, and caregiver stereotype obstacles.
This prototype focuses on mentorship supporting women in coping with challenges such as discrimination, caregiver stereotypes, and several others where intersectionality plays an important role.
Gender Equality in Scientific-Careers
Recommendations for scientific institutions to Increase the retention of women in STI careers
The prototype looks to identify barriers women face in STI careers and recognize target institutions in Europe and third countries that can support institutional changes to retain women with STIs.

Prototypes Challenge 2: Gender balance in decision-making bodies and positions

Gender balance in decision-making bodies and positions
How to attract and represent more diverse candidates in high-visibility STI opportunities
This prototype aims to create guidelines for organisers of high level (international) conferences, journal editors and international committees in science collaboration, to consider conditions for enhancing the participation of women to have high visibility within STI fields.
Gender balance in decision-making bodies and positions
Recommendations for decision-making in international scientific cooperation
- This prototype aims to elaborate recommendations to foster gender balance and transparency in decision-making in international scientific cooperation and to set up a network on science diplomacy and gender.
Gender balance in decision-making bodies and positions
Guidelines for STI institutions towards diversity balance in the decision-making process at international STI activities
- This prototype intends to provide STI institutions with guidance towards a more diversity balance in the decision-making process, based on the barriers that currently exist at all stages of the decision-making process, including the setting up of new leadership positions in STI institutions.

Prototypes Challenge 3: Gender dimension in research and innovation content

Gender dimension in research and innovation content
Gender experts -network Institutional interlocutors to bridge understandings of different entities and institutions
This prototype aims to build a network of experts to interact as institutional interlocutors to bridge the understandings of different entities and institutions and provide expertise or practical support for the (national) research community.
Gender dimension in research and innovation content
DEI in R&I Leadership
This prototype explores what kind of capabilities, drivers and barriers, research and innovation leaders or managers have and should have for enhancing the integration of gender into R&D&I content.
Gender dimension in research and innovation content
Gender argument bank for R&I
Create a gender argument bank to provide concrete evidence and good examples to show how STI institutions can invest in more gender-sensitive and gender-specific research.
Gender dimension in research and innovation content
Gender STI declaration
The prototype aims to develop a declaration that commits the undertaking institution to include a Gender Policy in their actions promoting, funding, or conducting science, technology, and innovation activities.
Gender dimension in research and innovation content
Training manual on ‘Inclusiveness in Research: a manual for research personnel and RTOs’
This manual aims to guide those working in the STI on how to implement gender and inclusiveness dimensions into R&I content. It provides academic knowledge, tools, and practical examples of how to address the lack of inclusiveness that can impact work in different STI fields.


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