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Interdisciplinary approaches to achieving gendered innovations in science, medicine, and engineering

2011 , Schiebinger, L. , Schraudner, M.

'Gendered Innovations' is defined as the process that integrates sex and gender analysis into all phases of basic and applied research to assure excellence and quality in outcomes. Gendered Innovations enhance excellence in science, medicine, and engineering both in terms of knowledge and personnel; they lead to gender-responsible science and technology, and seek to enhance the lives of women and men globally. This paper presents three approaches to gender equality taken by policy makers, institutional administrators, and scientists and engineers over the past three decades. These approaches include: 1) fixing the numbers of women in science, medicine, and engineering; 2) fixing research institutions by removing barriers and transforming structures; 3) fixing knowledge by incorporating gender analysis into basic and applied research. This paper treats each of these approaches but focuses on the third approach - 'Gendered Innovations' - by presenting concrete examples of how gender analysis has enhanced scientific knowledge and technology design. Realizing the full potential of gendered innovations in the next decade will require deep interdisciplinary collaborations between gender experts, natural scientists, and engineers. Realizing the full potential of gendered innovations will also require international coordination, as recommended in the 2010 European Commission genSET Consensus Report and the 2011 United Nations resolutions on Gender, Science and Technology.