Gendered Innovations in Design

Accounting for gender differences can increase your market share


Design that takes gender into account from the beginning can lead to new perspectives, markets and products.
Research shows that men and women interact with technology in different ways. Our view is that if the original platform takes gender issues into account design will be better.
Certainly, companies will save money (from attempting to fix iterations) and may innovate in new and exciting ways.
The goal of our Gender in Tech site is incorporate this thinking into Stanford curriculum and courses so that engineers, computer scientists graduating from Stanford bring a gender awareness with them to the workplace. We also hope our case studies and data will inform product designers as create and innovate new designs for technology products and services.
Among the questions we are asking:
  • How do Silicon Valley companies consider gender (diversity) when it comes to product design – especially in tech?
  • What role does gender play with regard to the development of product/service?
  • Can companies enhance creativity and discovery by integrating gender analysis into research and design?
  • Technology & diversity: How differently do women experience technology design? Can we identify key “preferences” when it comes to tech?
  • Can we translate our knowledge of gender differences into products that better match women’s preferences?
  • By doing so, can we release the potential of diversity for all?
  • What are the market implications? Can "inclusive design" improve the bottom line?


Londa Schiebinger:John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science, History Department of History, Stanford University; Director of Graduate Studies,and Director of the EU/US Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment Project. From 2004-2010, Schiebinger served as the Director of Stanford's Clayman Institute for Gender Research.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ann Grimes: Lokey Professor of the Practice, Department of Communication; Associate Director, Brown Institute for Media Innovation/School of Engineering; 2015-2016 Faculty Fellow, Clayman Institute for Gender Research. From 2006-2013, Grimes served as Director of Stanford’s Graduate Program in Journalism.

Mathias Nielson: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History

Helen Hastings: BS Computer Science, 2016


Over the course of an academic year, starting in the Fall of 2015, our team met with over two dozen Silicon Valley professionals to explore the process of product design. We narrowed our focus to two key areas:
  1. Research and case studies that could identify gender preferences vis a vis technology usage.
  2. Applied use: Development of a toolkit that could incorporate those preferences into an easy-to-use artifact that product designers could use to assess impact of gender on technology products (and the bottom line).
We will continue our efforts throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, starting with a new class “Beyond Pink & Blue” which will be offered in Ocober at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.



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