SOTA Review

Diversity in R&D and Innovation.


Associated Themes
  • Diversity
  • Innovation

Innovation has a central role in the UK Industrial Strategy (BEIS, 2017) necessitating SME innovation to achieve regional economic development (Roper, 2020). While the masculine constructions of the ideal ‘worker’ and entrepreneur are well-established (Ahl, 2006; Treanor, Jones and Marlow, 2020); it seems he is also a middle-class, middleaged, non-disabled, heterosexual white male (Marlow and Martinez-Dy, 2018; Rumens and Ozturk, 2019; Jammaers and Zanoni, 2020). So too, the normative ‘scientist’ or ‘innovator’, and their assumed customers or beneficiaries, are male. This has implications for those who do not fit this ‘norm’, particularly women, or those (including men) with disabilities, or of different ethnic or social class backgrounds, as examples. This awareness has led to a focus on inclusive innovation, which acts as an umbrella term for both focussing upon diversity and the inclusion of under-represented groups as innovators (as per OECD, see Planes-Satorra and Paunov, 2017) in addition to challenging innovators to design products and services for disadvantaged groups to facilitate their social inclusion (Klingler-Vidra, 2018). This review considers research focussed upon the under-representation of, and challenges to inclusion for, individuals of ‘other’ social categories of belonging.