Research and analysis

Women in innovation: understanding barriers to innovation

The report identifies the challenges women face and provides insight into how more female innovators can be encouraged and supported.


Women in innovation: understanding barriers to innovation

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Gender diversity is an important issue for Innovate UK. Just 1 in 7 applications for funding are from women. That’s why we commissioned Ebiquity to carry out independent research to help us understand:

  • what are the challenges and barriers to innovation

  • what are women’s experiences of engaging with Innovate UK

  • how Innovate UK can better support women in innovation

  • how Innovate UK can encourage more women to apply for funding

The research found that securing funding is the biggest challenge for women innovators. A third of those surveyed said they found being a woman in a male-dominated industry had affected their career in a negative way.

There is a demand for more focused support services among female innovators. But innovation funding organisations are often viewed as inaccessible and male dominated. The application process is also seen as bureaucratic and too time-consuming.

Innovate UK has an important role in encouraging and supporting women innovators. The report supports the positive actions that Innovate UK is taking to encourage women in innovation.

Published 12 August 2016