An equal world is an enabled world. That’s the message of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), and in innovation, it couldn’t be more accurate. Marked every year on March 8th, it’s a day to celebrate women’s achievements and increase their visibility.
Over the ages, the simplest innovations have managed to transform the lives of women and their role in society. Seemingly simple technology has shown to spark virtuous circles of change, shift social attitudes about what women can achieve and increase women’s access to economic opportunities, employment and financial services.
The bicycle, for example, gave women newfound freedom of movement, independence and self-reliance, as well as transforming dress codes at the turn of the 20th century.
Another was the sanitary pad. Invented by French nurses to control bleeding amongst soldiers, disposable pads improved women and girls’ hygiene and health, school attendance, livelihoods and economic opportunities. However, they are still not readily available to thousands of women worldwide.
Women in tech
At the other end of the spectrum, there has been huge encouragement to boost women in technology, from training courses through to international events and programmes. Beyond IWD, women today are thriving in innovation and are using new and more complex technologies to innovate for the global good.
From smart technology to help fight food waste to interface design for better inclusivity, several cutting-edge projects have women at the helm. Thanks to a culture of ideapreneurship and gender-equal work environments, companies such as HCL are utilising this talent and technology to find solutions to pressing global matters.