As I prepare to head down to Atlanta for the National Women’s Studies Conference and the Girlw/Pen panel, I have to share with you one of my new favorite sites: Gendered Innovations.

What is Gendered Innovations?

Gendered Innovations employ sex and gender analysis as a resource to create new knowledge and technology.
The Gendered Innovations project:

    1) develops methods of sex and gender analysis for scientists and engineers;
    2) provides case studies as concrete illustrations of how sex and gender analysis leads to innovation.

There is a wonderful video of Londa Schiebinger explaining the project too.

What I love and greatly appreciate about this project is that it nicely explains why gender is important in science and engineering. From seat belts that project pregnant women and their fetus to heart disease researchers working with women in mind, gender plays an important part of science and engineering innovation.

This chart outlines all the points along the innovation path where sex and gender must be acknowledged in order for the outcome to be relevant and appropriate for all.

Setting Research Priorities and Making Funding Decisions? Who is valued? Is the National Institutes of Health funding research in women’s health at an appropriate level? And just becuase there is an Office of Women’s Health does not mean the funding matches the need.

Once funding is approved by Congress, does NIH set objectives that will positively impact women’s lives? For years heart disease was seen as a men’s disease and that women also had it. But women exhibit symptoms differently. We are still trying to educate women and the medical community to these differences.

There’s a laundry list of things to consider when deciding on methodologies, gather and analyzing data and evaluating the results with consideration to sex and gender. Most importantly is that fine line of setting up a research project to look for gendered differences and being able to identify those differences afterward.

And off to market we go! Will our voice activated gadgets recognize the higher pitch of women’s voices? Will the hot new drug work just as well in women as in men?

It’s not just about women either. Men are left out of research on so-called women’s diseases like osteoporosis.

For a researcher who is still learning like me, I really enjoy the terminology page. Because even the most seasoned feminist needs a quick reminder of when to use sex or gender appropriately.

Obviously I give this site a huge thumbs up. It is great for those who just want to understand what the big deal about gender in medicine/science/engineering is or for those of us who are doing or planning to do our own research into how gender impacts innovations.