Promoting gender balance in makerspaces

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The problem is…

Unequal representation of men and women within makerspace membership. Research indicates that makerspaces are more often attended by men. It would be desirable to have as many women as men taking part in DiDIY activities as this would indicate that the social, learning, creative and economic opportunities of DiDIY are open to as many individuals as possible.

The proposed solution might apply when…

Makerspaces are more often set-up and led by men and may not have facilities, programs and social activities that are as attractive to women.

The solution proposed is…

Commitment to the awareness and implementation of equal access for women and girls to education opportunities. Within makerspaces a deliberate promotion of greater female participation by developing an inclusive vision which may include: activities of particular interest to some women, cultural programmes to enable women to feel comfortable within the makerspace environment for example providing access to training exclusively for women, celebration of positive imagery and inspiring examples of women active in Digital DIY, encouraging all members to be aware of inclusive behaviour and conduct, promoting equality of access through activities within the makerspace and in how the makerspace is represented in the public domain.

The expected outcome is…

Women and girls will be fully able to access and pursue their making interests. Women and girls benefit from increased social, learning and creative activities and economic opportunities provided by DiDIY. DiDIY within makerspaces will flourish and benefit from diverse projects and programmes that are relevant to all sections of society. Makerspaces serve as an example of equality of access within the wider cultural context.

Other information

Rationale

This is an effective way of increasing the impact of DiDIY

Significant influencing factors

Growing awareness of the need to provide equal opportunity to women and girls. Society loses out on potential creative opportunities and solutions if women and girls are less able to access DiDIY.

Evidence/Examples

Some makerspaces have made a commitment to equality of access as demonstrated through leadership programme and projects. For example: coding for girls, inspiring female role models, physical environments that encourage collaborative working and skill sharing.

Related Patterns

Links to further resources

Authors and Credits

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