Coventry University leads EU initiative aiming to empower minorities and tackle social inequality in workplaces across Europe

Wednesday 03 January 2024

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Despite the EU and United Nations (UN) actively promoting gender equality at all levels, it has been reported that Europe still under-utilises female talent and insufficiently represents women and minority groups in business innovation and entrepreneurial outputs.

A new EU initiative led by Coventry University aims to tackle social inequality across Europe by bringing about organisational and cultural changes, in the hope that it will increase the representation of women and minority groups in business innovation.

The Gendered Innovation Living Lab (GILL) is a collaborative and user-centred ecosystem that conducts research in real-life settings and will go above and beyond to identify gender gaps and ensure that both men and women’s experiences are equally integrated into the design of innovative products and services.

Led by Professor Andree Woodcock from Coventry University’s Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities and funded by UK Research and Innovation under Horizon Europe*, the three-year initiative brings together a consortium of 17 collaborators from 10 countries to co-create new methods, tools and policies that enable businesses and organisations to create fairer working practices.

GILL seeks to drive impact and change across civil society as well as the government, education and industry sectors by enhancing the professional development of women and minorities, increasing the integration of gender and diversity into product design and technologies and encouraging gendered educational practices.

The initiative aims to also support businesses and organisations in the development of robust and effective equality policies to ensure that women, ethnic minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community and people with disabilities play a key role in every phase of the innovation development cycle.

Lack of gender equality in the business innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem has profound implications on business competitiveness, the economy, and the very nature of innovation.

Women face various issues at all levels at work – from recognition and accreditation to patenting and funding. I’m proud to be leading this impactful project and making a real difference to the lives of working women and minority groups across Europe.

Professor Andree Woodcock, Project Lead of GILL, Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities

The creation of a fairer European Research Area inspires hope for new employment opportunities, and more inclusive leadership and innovation.

Find out more about CAMC and the GILL project.

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*Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the granting authority. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.