Diana Dwamena
Chief Executive Officer of The Learning Nuggets Company Limited (LNC) Diana Dwamena

The Chief Executive Officer of The Learning Nuggets Company Limited (LNC) Diana Dwamena, has underscored the need for technologists to consider gender and sex in technology and innovation design, in particular, in areas such as healthcare, education, services and research.

Diana Dwamena, gave this salient advice in response to a thought provoking debate on “How Gender Bias Impacts Research Outcomes”, at The Foundation L’Oréal -UNESCO for Women in Science 2019 Awards in Paris on the 13th of March.

She emphasised the need for gender inclusion when developing applications, processes and systems to ensure solutions are relevant and work for everyone.

This she considers essential “ As our reliance on data-driven technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Assistive Technologies grows, it is critical that we also increase our knowledge of the impact of gender and sex in research, design and innovation,” she emphasized.

The technology expert, cited a recent ‘cancellation’ of the all-female NASA spacewalk on the 22nd of March when one of the astronauts discovered she had been provided with a spacesuit for a standard male torso and not one that fitted her medium size.

Unfortunately, this she said led to NASA ‘Cancelling’ that All-Female Spacewalk. Christina Koch and Anne McClain had been scheduled to step outside the International Space Station (ISS) to install batteries.

NASA had only properly configured one medium-size hard upper torsos on the ISS To get the other ready would have taken hours and NASA decided it would be easier and safer to change one of the astronauts to a male colleague.

Citing another example, she said: “In the area of research, gender, ethnicity and sex inclusion are key parameters that impact social and cultural attitudes and outcomes”. There are so many technologies that have been designed exclusively around men.

Even cars are designed around a specific male norm, with women (and smaller men) typically analyzed as an afterthought or viewed as a deviation from that norm.

But this can result in harmful outcomes. She hinted that potentially there are 140 million pregnant women globally in any given year, something as simple as car seat belts designed for the size of a “regular” man could pose problems and may prevent some women from using their belts properly. “So what should car companies do?” she quizzed.

A woman wearing a seatbelt who is carrying a 20-week-old fetus and is involved in a car crash runs a high risk of losing her baby. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of fetal death related to maternal trauma.

Diana Dwamena emphasised that as the design of healthcare and drugs becomes more personalised, innovators and technologists also have a moral duty to ensure gender inclusion.

Insights from leading international professors such as Professor Londa Schiebinger, Stanford University, Professor Cara Tannenbaum, the Canadian Institute of Gender and Health, and Doctor Rachel Adams, University of London and others at The Foundation L’Oréal -UNESCO for Women in Science 2019 Awards in Paris were inspirational.

The Learning Nuggets Company Limited (LNC)
The Learning Nuggets Company’s mission is to provide individuals with portable skills to enable them to live, work and contribute wherever they choose.

LNC supports organisations in developing the right digital learning strategies and environments (online, mobile and virtual) to enable them to develop the competencies and skills of their workforce to be best-in-class and effective in achieving performance.

LNC provides global standard solutions. It has an international client base with a strong focus on Africa and other developing markets.

The Learning Nuggets is the ideal partner for local companies looking to adopt international standards of excellence in organisational learning and development.

Source:Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh


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