It’s great to be thought of as attractive! Attractive Innovation Project Award 2018

Last evening (10 Dec 2018), entrepreneur Sophia Renemar from HeraHub, my colleague Anneli Häyrén and I were delighted to receive an award from Uppsala University Innovation for our ‘Attractive Innovation Project’ (meaning we attracted funding and it was considered to have great development potential) on Women as Entrepreneurs: The Meaning of Co-working Hubs for Normcritique and Sustainable Businesses. This Vinnova-funded pilot project is concerned with female entrepreneurs’ use and understanding of co-working hubs in the context of questions about changing labour markets and threats to what one might consider ‘decent work’ (UN 2030 Goal). The project relates directly to Nordwit’s concerns since it involves female entrepreneurs using technology as both a tool and content for running their own small businesses, but importantly also involves normcritical stances towards this. The award ceremony was a jolly occasion: wine, burgers, and lots of very different kinds of innovations which were presented, including many from medicine and life sciences, mostly involving the construction and use of technologies. The event involved funders and angels (= investors) as well as researchers from within and outside of academe. It’s really nice to finish the year on a spot of recognition!

Gabriele Griffin

Equal opportunities and different interests

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“We do not treat men and women differently in our organization” is a strong discourse many proudly share with us, as we talk and discuss strategies for gender equality in the field work. There is a belief that gender equality is ensured when men and women are offered equal opportunities. But how can we ensure equal treatment and allocation of resources considering the differences in needs and interests? If we want to be fair with equal opportunities while addressing differences women experience in the workforce, one should open up also for different treatments such as in recruitment process. We have also repeatedly heard that “we should remember women have different interests”. The utterance is said to remind us that there is an invisible barrier in approaching gender equality because of men and women’s different interests in education and career choices. As if “interests” are entirely natural and are not socially constructed. As long “natural“ interests and needs are considered to be a barrier to overcome gender segregation in labor force, the responsibilities to ensure equal opportunities are disclaimed.

Gilda Seddighi