Gender in Research and Innovation

As much as we would have liked, we couldn’t join the WebSummit in Lisbon. We were in Brussels to participate to a workshop of the GenderSummit – an EU event to address the important matter of the gender gap in Science.

Our technology – NamSor Gender API – was used to infer gender from scientists names and prepare the SheFigures report, a 200 pages document analyzing in-depth European Science from the gender angle.

“Parity between women and men
Others: Error bars represent the 90 % confidence interval, accounting for potential biases due to: 1) the inability to infer the sex of corresponding authors on some scientific papers (i.e. because of the lack of information on their full given name), and 2) the unrepresentative coverage of the various fields of science within the WoSTM (e.g. the
social sciences and humanities as well as the computer and engineering sciences are known to be under-represented). It assumes that the attribution of a sex to author names is 100 % accurate (i.e. that the gender attributed to a given author name using the GendRE API (NamSor TM) is always the correct one; in other words, that there are no misattributions). Manual validation showed that it was indeed highly accurate (the lowest accuracies are actually quite high and are observed for LV (91 %), IS (92
%), EE (93 %) and TR (93 %); the asymmetry in the accuracy rates between women and men in these three countries combined with the predominance of men is such that gender assignment errors should have a very limited impact on their women to men (WM) ratio).”

We’re continuously working to improve the accuracy of NamSor Gender API. We’ve made improvements over the past year, since that research was conducted, namely:

  • a new parsing API to recognize the structure of names (John SMITH, vs. Smith, John);
  • better disambiguation of cultural/linguistic context (Andrea Rossini -> likely male; Andrea Parker -> likely female);
  • better coverage of African names in LATIN, Asian names in vernacular scripts.

WebSummit : gender balance among participants

We applied the same technology to measure the gender gap among ~50k participants of the WebSummit : it is almost balanced (52%-47%). This is quite impressive, given the overall gender gap in the startup community that we’ve measured in the past.

This is also encouraging : today’s participants are tomorrow’s speakers so we can expect the gender gap among speakers to close, as even more women succeed in their digital projects, reach a stage when they can inspire others with their achievements.

Of course, one other factor is geography : the gender gap varies by country and culture. In this respect, it is also interesting to see from which countries participants and speakers originated. Apart from Portugal (the event’s hosting country), the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany were by far predominant.

fdimagnet_v009_websummit2016_v002_lowdef_nt

About NamSor

NamSor™ Applied Onomastics is a European vendor of sociolinguistics software (NamSor sorts names). NamSor mission is to help understand international flows of money, ideas and people. Reach us at: contact@namsor.com

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