Innovation and Gender Equality
We must think of innovative ways to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment, especially regarding social protection systems, public service access and sustainable infrastructure.
There is a two-way relationship between innovation and gender equity. Women play a fundamental part in the process of generating knowledge. The creative power that lies in diversity is a source of innovation. This doesn’t mean that two heads think better than one; it translates into two visions complementing one another to broaden perspectives upon making decisions and finding better solutions.
Innovation is associated with progress and heightens competitiveness. In Mexico, innovation figures are not encouraging. Among OECD countries, it ranks among the lowest in innovation and technological development. Mexico’s main challenges to stimulate scientific and technological development are the following: increasing investment in innovation in the public and private sectors, supporting small and medium-sized companies, promoting cooperation within the private sector, investing in human capital skills, and reinforcing the rule of law. I would also add encouraging women’s participation and strengthening their abilities in the areas of science and technology.
In accordance with McKinsey findings, women’s presence in technology companies is very low: approximately a mere 17% of professionals in this field are women. Overlooking the advantages of diversity and female talent discourages innovation. The relationship between these variables is affected by additional factors; however, there is empirical evidence showing that gender equality promotes economic growth, sustainable development and competitiveness. For this reason, it is vital to eliminate barriers and obstacles faced by women and girls in the areas of innovation, science, technology, and entrepreneurship.
Without a doubt, innovation creates unprecedented opportunities, generates social benefits, and promotes significant change. Transformational ideas are needed to deal with archaic and recent problems that negatively affect the global environment. To carry out the Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to innovative actions and integral approaches, the incorporation of a gender perspective is needed. Women are a source of innovation and, in turn, innovation is a tool for promoting gender equality.