Cologne, February 2023. "Women need more power and they should not be afraid to use this power!". This statement by a panel participant sums up what the "1 Uni - 1 Buch" project team has been working for over the past year and a half: Using Caroline Criado Perez's book "Invisible Women", the inequality of data collection and use that affects women - the so-called gender data gap - was explained, highlighted and countermeasures discussed. At the official end of the project, a final event was held in February at the CBS International Business School in Cologne with all participants. At the event, professors, students and CBS employees celebrated the successful completion of various sub-projects that were realised within the framework of the funding.
At the beginning of the event, Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Fröhlich, Prof. Dr. Anja Karlshaus and Prof. Dr. Cristian Loza gave insights into the various ideas that have been implemented since the start of the project: a mentoring program to support ten female CBS students, a business elective on the topic of "Gender Data Gap" and the lecture series "Food for Thought" with a focus on gender diversity content. Funding was also provided for six undergraduate/master's theses focused on women's careers, and CBS's newly formed Women's Network conducted an Orange Day promotion. For CBS faculty, a special faculty workshop on Gender Data Gaps in Research, organized by Prof. Dr. Ingvill Mochmann, was offered in cooperation with GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. All these actions make clear how comprehensively and versatilely the core theses of the book have been worked on and brought to life at the CBS over the last year and a half.
Guest speaker Eva Gengler, a researcher at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, presented her approach to countering the gender data gap with "feminist AI" in the subsequent keynote. Together with other researchers, she is investigating the extent to which the gender data gap also influences artificial intelligence systems. The company founder advocates for the collection and consideration of data on women not only in research, but also in business. In her lecture, she outlined examples of recruitment software that screens out applications from women and artificial intelligence that evaluates credit applications from female persons differently from those from male persons. One of the latest areas of research deals with the difference in the recognition of women and men by automatic drones in war zones.
The lecture once again clearly demonstrated to the participants that the gender data gap affects all areas of life and must also be critically discussed today, especially in the context of AI. Following the keynote, the audience discussed future possibilities for gender data research. The research of Gengler and her colleagues shows how much still needs to be done. However, the possibilities of the research as well as small feelings of success made the participants confident that something is moving in the area of the gender data gap.
At the end of the event, six students received the official scholarship certificates for their theses on topics related to the gender data gap, women's careers and diversity. The results of their research were presented on posters during the event. After a short concluding panel discussion by the project team, there was time for exchange and networking. In the final round, mentors and mentees as well as teachers and staff reported on their personal experiences in the project and expressed the wish to continue pursuing this important topic in the coming semesters at CBS and beyond.
The "1 Uni - 1 Book" project on the book "Invisible Women" has shown how many places women are unconsciously affected by the gender data gap in daily life. Data bases that do not disregard women but include them are important and can contribute to a shift in power. As a forward-looking university with the credo #creatingtomorrow, CBS employees and students will continue to actively work towards counteracting the gender data gap in research as well as in the economy after the project is completed.
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