Gender dynamics and Women's careers in Innovation Ecosystems and Knowledge Practices

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Economies, which display a trend towards greater dependence on knowledge, information and highlevel skills, compete on the basis of their research and innovation capacity and effectiveness. The underlying economic dynamics can be modelled using the concept of innovation ecosystem, which captures the relationships between the knowledge economy (i.e. people and organisations producing and applying science knowledge), the commercial economy (i.e. people and organisations who create markets for science knowledge), and the mechanisms enabling translation of knowledge into potential product solution (Jackson,
2011). We report on the results of a new study of women’s career patterns and analyse available evidence of women’s contribution to knowledge and commercial economies to show how gender dynamics and women’s careers can act as determinants of: 1) new directions for innovation that draw on scientific understanding of the significance of sex and gender differences; 2) intellectual and creative capacity of the human capital engaged in knowledge and commercial economies; and 3) ability of innovation processes and practices to facilitate effective transformation of ideas into products.

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