Creation and development of products with a gender perspective
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This set of tools for creating and developing products with a gender focus is based on the design thinking methodology and is designed to challenge the beliefs of the members of the company, open a world of possibilities, a space where intrinsic capacity Acting creatively will reach its peak in a revealing, enriching, multidisciplinary and sensory experience.
With which you can answer:
Can products be an agent of change?
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Creation and development of products with a gender perspective
The discipline of product design seeks in the first instance to generate well-being in people’s lives. The question then arises: How can a product help generate well-being in people if, unintentionally and inadvertently, it promotes gender inequality and increases the gap of opportunities between men and women or groups in situations of discrimination?
The products and services that companies market can be an agent of change in society by focusing their efforts on meeting the needs of populations that have not been served until now. And this approach not only benefits the image of the company in front of society, but also provides a vision that will allow it to open a range of possibilities for profitable solutions and innovative products in unexplored markets.
To read an article on "How design thinking can help address gender bias in the workplace," visit:
Why is it important for companies to create products with a gender perspective?
Design with a gender perspective can contribute to::
- That the product does not reproduce gender stereotypes.
- That the product meets a need of women and girls that was not being met.
- That the product contributes to closing gender gaps or promotes the advancement of gender equality.
- Designing with a gender perspective promotes satisfaction, empowerment and the inclusion of clients in markets and spaces in which they were not traditionally considered.
It is suggested to create an innovation and development committee.
It can be given another more personalized name, such as: Dream Team, The Idea Machine, The Creative League, etc. which can work intermittently, being activated by projects and partially committing the time of its members, but at its own expense. Once it must be legitimized and endorsed by the general management of the company.
Must have a leading figure
When choosing her, it is good to consider that women in leadership positions have achieved excellent results when it comes to increasing team performance, the quality of decision-making and increasing team collaboration.
Must be multidisciplinary
With representatives from different functional areas of the company, to have different integrated technical capacities, in addition to having formal and informal leaders.
It must have gender parity and be as diverse as possible
This refers to having the same participation of men and women, in addition, if possible, having cultural and age diversity.
Members must have these characteristics
- Have a genuine interest in innovation, creativity, results and growth.
- Be curious, resilient and able to handle ambiguity.
- Understand the importance of teamwork, since most of the tools on product design require the participation of the entire team.
Must be a small size
A team of 3 or 4 people can be formed, and if it is a larger company, a team of 6 or 7 people can be formed. More than 7 people could not work.
Specialists are a plus
Specialists could be added to strengthen the team in the missing skills and knowledge.
Before carrying out the tools for creating and designing products with a gender perspective, it is advisable to align the objectives of the committee with those of the company, so that the efforts made do not fall into abysses of disinterest on the part of the company’s management. .
Additionally, and imperatively, to guarantee that the solutions and innovations that arise from the tools really have a gender focus, the committee must be trained on gender equality and on the stereotypes present in products and services, taking into account that it is culturally acquired information and therefore can be modified.
Some examples of gender stereotypes that can be found in products and services are:
- Products for women in pink, with which they are traditionally associated since they were little.
- Women as the sole responsible for the home and care. It can be seen in many television commercials, especially for cleaning products.
- Unnecessary decorations or applications, which serve no function, in women’s products, because it is believed that they appreciate adornments.
- Women occupying support positions, for example, in bots such as Siri, Alexa and Cortana, who delve into the idea that they are at the service of other people, without a correct approach to responding to sexual harassment, which can contribute to reproduce prejudices and inequality, being present in millions of homes and pockets.
- Basic personal hygiene products for men designed in dark colors and with textual clarifications about their character as a conqueror and attractive.
In many of the tools, previously collected information on the market will be requested, in order to carry them out profitably. The data collected through conventional research instruments must be collected and expressed in a way that helps to carry out the analysis with a gender equality perspective during the creation and development of products and services.
The information that a company has is mainly composed of two types of data: quantitative and qualitative, obtained from previous research. Quantitative data are usually generated through market studies, surveys, statistics created by the use of an Internet page, censuses, among others. The qualitative data is obtained from different sources of open communication such as interviews, focus groups, observations, real phrases of users, experiences of the staff, reviews, complaints and suggestions regarding the product or the experience of its use. In all cases, it is required to have sex-disaggregated data.
The data that will be used to implement the product design tools must be available to women and men. There are tools that analyze and work directly with the data throughout its application and in these it is constantly emphasized that it is essential that there is an analysis that considers the differentiated situation between one and the other, but there are also several tools in which it is requested arrive with the previous data already prepared, in this case it is also very important to take this point into consideration. People are not a homogeneous group, women and men have different needs, perceptions and realities, so it is essential to make this visible through information disaggregated by sex, which helps to identify the gender gaps that may exist.
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This toolbox is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of Contract No. AID OAA-C-17-00090. The contents of this toolkit are the sole responsibility of Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.