Press release: UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change launches the Gender Innovation Principles

Date: Friday, September 7, 2018

The Global Innovation Coalition for Change launches Gender Innovation Principles at NASDAQ. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
The Global Innovation Coalition for Change launches Gender Innovation Principles at NASDAQ. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

(New York, 7 September 2018)—Today, the Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC), a unique alliance with 27 partners from private sector, non-profit organizations and academic institutions, facilitated by UN Women to develop the innovation market to work better for women and to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment, is launching a set of global standards called the “Gender Innovation Principles”. The Principles aim to take a gender-responsive approach to innovation and technology.

After a year-long process, GICC established the ambitious Principles to help guide organizations toward including women and women’s needs throughout the various phases in the innovation lifecycle, such as design, implementation and evaluation.

Specifically, the Principles include:

  • Principle 1. Make a high-level corporate commitment to adopt a gender responsive approach to innovation
  • Principle 2. Design innovations that include women as end users
  • Principle 3. Adopt an adaptive approach to implementation to ensure innovations are gender-responsive and meet the needs of women
  • Principle 4. Evaluate the gender-responsive impact using a data driven approach
  • Principle 5. Scale innovations that provide sustainable solutions to meet the needs of women and girls

Applying a gender lens to the innovation cycle and more actively involving women has the potential to serve as a catalytic tool of change, to break trends and increase access and availability of opportunities. “Today’s launch is about working with companies to ensure that women play a key role as both developers and consumers of technology and innovation. From mobile banking and blockchain technology, to artificial intelligence and the internet of things, it is vital that women’s ideas, concerns and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our future societies,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, welcoming the standard-setting Principles.

UN Women’s work with the private sector is extensive; from setting standards such as the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and the newly-launched Principles, to encouraging private sector partners to join our global campaigns such as HeForShe, Planet 50–50 by 2030 and the Unstereotype Alliance. The Gender Innovation Principles launched today will be implemented in connection with the WEPs framework and other UN Women partnerships to bring together GICC members and like-minded organizations to share experience and knowledge on gender-responsive innovation.

“EY is proud to be at the forefront of developing the gender innovation principles with UN Women to promote gender equality through innovation. Reducing inequality—especially at a time of turbo-charged technological disruption—is a business priority, and the principles provide a platform for businesses to benchmark themselves and work towards better outcomes. As a father and a business leader, I believe we all need to support ways to help build a better working world,” said Steve Krouskos, Global Vice Chair of Transaction Advisory Services of EY, who led the work stream to develop the Gender Innovations Principles.

Working together to advance the gender equality agenda, the Innovation Coalition, facilitated by UN Women, has the support of a diverse set of global industry leaders, such as Nasdaq, SAP, CISCO, Citi, Dell, Ericsson, Facebook, HP, General Electric, and a host of others. Full list available here. The Coalition also includes academic institutions like MIT Solve and New York Academy of Sciences. 

The launch event of the Principles will take place at the Nasdaq Market Site Press Conference room and Closing bell studio, on Friday 7 September, 2018 from 1.45– 5 p.m..