The project aims at clarifying the process of how women scientists engaged in technological R&D respond to the needs of women end-users. The study will display economic and socio-cultural factors that influence gender-specific end-user interaction with women researchers by comparing and analysing gender equality in R&D in the cases of two transition economies - Poland and China - and two technological applications - teleservices and agricultural implement. The Polish and Chinese societies are experiencing a rapid economic and technological transition. Demand for technology is diversifying and the structures of end-users in different technological fields are being re-shaped. In the process, women in China and Poland have become crucial user groups for technical applications both in the traditional agricultural sector and the rapidly growing telecom sector.
This development requires more gender-specific R&D and the harnessing of social capital of women in R&D. An attractive environment for investors and strong scientific bases make both China and Poland significant actors in technological research. Women have equal opportunities for higher education in these countries and in Poland women are generally better educated than men. However, women are poorly represented in scientific research, particularly in the fields of engineering and natural sciences. Moreover, the male perspective is the norm in technological R&D and articulation of demand for new products is the prerogative of men. Gender equality may be on the political agenda but is hardly addressed in technological R&D.
This study will clarify the opportunities for women scientists in technological R&D to interact with women end-users. Based on the results of the study, policy recommendations will be formulated for better gender equality in technological R&D. This study will increase awareness and comprehension of the gender issue in scientific research among decision makers and the broader public.
Call for proposal
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