The change we want to see

We want to see the power of social innovation fully harnessed to both tackle current gender inequalities and accelerate a gender equal future. We believe an alternative future is possible, where women and men, and girls and boys, are equally able to flourish as individuals and contribute to the society in which they live.

Why this is needed

Systemic gender inequality remains one of the greatest social challenges of our time. It negatively impacts on millions of individuals, from how they live and love, to what they do and earn. It also undermines our collective social and economic potential. Although the women’s and gender equality movements have achieved changes previous generations could not imagine, progress in many areas remains extremely slow and in others has stalled. In some areas signs of regression and unravelling of previous gains are even visible. To both accelerate and embed, greater equality efforts which engage a much wider set of actors and resources are needed. In this context we believe that a greater application of the ideas, tools and resources of social innovation approaches offers immense potential to create the change we need to achieve. However to date there has been little collaboration between the social innovation and gender equality movements.


The difference we want to make

We want to stimulate and support greater gender equality innovation that combines the power and insights of both the social innovation and gender equality movements to affect change. Change that can be seen and felt in people’s everyday lives.



What we are doing

  • Increasing awareness and understanding of structural gender inequality
  • Investigating how social innovation can be harnessed to address deep rooted and complex gender equality challenges in practice
  • Creating shared spaces for social innovation and gender equality pioneers to work together
  • Providing practical support to existing and emerging gender equality innovators


Who we are

Gender Futures is led by The Young Foundation  but is designed to act as shared platform and network to enable a wide range of local, national and international organisations and actors to join with us and each other to develop and deliver gender equality innovation.



Gender Futures is being developed and delivered by Ceri Goddard, Director of Gender, and colleagues from across The Young Foundation.


Advisory Group

We have a high-level advisory group made up of experienced individuals spanning both social innovation and gender equality.

They support Gender Futures at a strategic level.


Current advisory group members include: 


  • Jo Andrews, Director, Ariadne
  • Suzanne Beigal, Catalyst at Large, Clearly So
  • Elena Balestra, Community Manager, EVPA
  • Sandara Kelso Robb, Executive Director, Lloyds TSB NI
  • Ambreen Shah, BIG Lottery Fund England
  • Oriel Sullivan, Professor, University of Oxford
  • Sarah Childs, Professor, University of Bristol
  • Susan Himmelweit, Professor, Open University
  • Heidi Mirza, Professor, Goldsmiths University
  • Sylvia Walby, Professor, University of Lancaster
  • Geraldine Van Bueren, Professor/QC, Queen Mary University
  • Fran Bennet, Professor, University of Oxford
  • Karen Mattison, Co-Founder, Timewise/Women Like Us
  • Katherine Miles, Consultant
  • Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe
  • Adele Baumgardt, Consultant
  • Simon Blake, Chief Executive, NUS
  • Julie Bentley, Chief Executive, Girl Guides
  • Carlene Firmin, Head of Partnership, Msunderstood
  • Amanda Arris, Chief Executive, EDF
  • Scarlett Harris, Women's Equality Policy Officer, TUC
  • Mary-Ann Stephenson, Consultant, Coventry Women's Voices
  • Claire Michelet, Senior Policy Advisor, Cabinet Office
  • Rosie Harper, Canon, Church of England