New book: Gender, Diversity and Innovation: Concepts, Policies and Practice

Editors: Beldina Owalla, Tim Vorley and Helen Lawton Smith

This book forms part of the Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Policy (WEP) project led by Professor Colette Henry. Its origins lie in work the three editors conducted for Innovate UK in 2019 on Promoting the participation of entrepreneurs with disabilities and those from ethnic minority communities in business innovation.

Where this book breaks new ground is in its central focus on the experiences of women innovators in different geographic and institutional contexts in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. It investigates how intersecting characteristics such as age, race and ethnicity as well as broader contextual factors enable and constrain the innovation activities and ambitions of women.

Part of the explanation for the under-representation of women in innovation is “gender blindness” which is endemic worldwide. While there is plenty of evidence of the positive impact of gender diversity on creativity and innovation, the role of diversity in innovation processes within the lens of entrepreneurship in how individuals mobilise resources and processes in creating value through innovation, remains under-explored.

This book addresses these gaps and from this sets out policy agenda and explores practice in emerging and advanced economies.  In doing so it addresses how policies can support diversity and inclusion within innovation. By advancing knowledge of the multi-level factors influencing women’s entrepreneurship and innovation, policy-makers are given better tools with which to overcome barriers which in turn hinder innovation-led economic development. This book is a step along the way.


Link to book on publisher’s webpage

Link to InnovateUK project report