The gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers is well documented, and though recent initiatives have been encouraging more women to take up technology careers in academia and industry, higher positions in academiia, design and production remain overwhelmingly populated by men.
Technological innovation and science are too important to be left to only men. Why are there still less women working in technology and science? Is it biological differences, a result of 'male-dominated' organisations or societal culture? Why does our society still favour men? How can we bridge this gap?
In order to examine gender inequality in tech, Professor Antonella De Angeli has co-created a new game - Mind the Gap!
This research introduces Agonistic Design and Mind the Gap (MtG), an intervention that structures social interaction and dialogues in a role-play game to examine the complex issue of the gender gap. The MtG game illuminates players’ attitudes and experiences through playful engagement, and reveals diverse perspectives concerning gender privilege and discrimination. The game examines gender, not as biological dichotomy, but as performance of identity and reiterates the importance of striving for gender equity in STEM curriculum and industry.
Mind the Gap aims to find new ways to reflect on the gender gap and its potential repercussions. Through role-play and playful social interaction, the attitudes and experiences of the players will be uncovered, and will contribute to the further development of the game. To date, the game includes more than 180 participant-authored micronarratives which describe real people's experiences, perceptions and imaginations of gender advantages and disadvantages. These experiences have been collected through playing the game across Europe.
Mind the Gap was created as part of a PhD research process in the development of Agonistic Design, by Max Willis, University of Trento, Italy (SKIL TIME) and Professor Antonella de Angeli, University of Lincoln, UK and University of Trento, Italy.
The game is now gaining momentum and a gaming session, led by co-creator Professor Antonella De Angeli, will be hosted by Waag, an influential initiative in Amsterdam, as part of a thematic evening event, on 16 August 2018.
The findings of Mind the Gap will be used to encourage more women to take up science and technology-related careers
Prof Antonella De Angeli Max Willis, Universita degli Studi di Trento