The data demonstrates that there are connections between eco-innovation in organizations and women ́s presence in diverse teams. But an important question remains: Why and how is this happening?

A complementary study looked at how gender diversity as perceived by the protagonists themselves- women innovators – is translated into eco-innovations. Interviews conducted in Spain and Germany show that most participants see women making a difference in more horizontal leadership styles, for example, through environmental consciousness and greater emphasis on the value of the project beyond personal credit. In addition, women in mid-level positions, such as leading innovation departments, can lead to more eco-innovation. Generally, the presence of women is very scarce, especially in top positions. Also, we found that little to no reward exists for differential contributions to eco-innovation. Profit drives green innovation in the Spanish firms, with no engagement with social issues as indicated by a lack of equality measures. In Germany, women in research teams have contradictory feelings about the quotas promoted by funders because they are not sure if their non-gender-related capacities are really acknowledged. However, we found promising paths for new research into how women tend to be more collaborative with external stakeholders and how being more communicative may influence their male colleagues toward this direction. In the end, requiring mixed-gender teams cannot be enough. We recommend that future innovation policies dedicate more effort into the gendering of top and mid-management positions and organizational cultures.

You can find the full case study here