What has gender equality got to do with social innovation? This was the question we started with when we began to research our first Gender Futures report at The Young Foundation. Published today, Unequal Nation aims to fuel an important conversation between the activists interested in social innovation, and those that work on gender equality.
Gender Inequality in the UK
We found that although gender equality is something we’ve supposedly achieved in the UK, there actually remain lots of deep and enduring inequalities between women and men. In Unequal Nation we looked at research on the resources available to men and women, the attitudes and opinions held by people, and the holders of power and influence.
We found inequalities across these - for example the pay gap is 19% in favour of men. 65% of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people have experienced bullying. 80% of university professors are male. These are only some of the areas where we know inequality continues to be a reality. Looking across these different areas also enabled us to see how they are interconnected demonstrating that we need an interconnected response to make positive change.
Gender and Social Innovation
Although gender equality activists have been incredibly innovative, and those involved in social innovation care about making positive social change - the two haven't interacted as much as they could. Gender Futures aims to change this. There are some exciting examples such as Timewise, Ogunte, and Band of Brothers but there is a lack of support to really build and accelerate gender innovation. Gender Futures aims to do just this.
What next for gender innovation?
Today we’re launching our first report, and we’ve already begun developing our programme and research going forward. If you’re interested in being part of creating a gender equal future we hope you’ll join us:
• Follow us on twitter for updates
• Get in touch with us
By Freya Johnson Ross