Hannah Isabelle Tornow
The national and regional strategy in the UK highlights the urgent need for ongoing innovation that is considered the driving force behind economic success, growth and sustainability for companies. Oxfordshire as a hub for research and innovation is an important regional context contributing to the innovative excellence of the UK as one of the strongest engines for growth. In order to drive innovation, it is important to promote engagement in innovation and to make full use of potential and existing talent. Although gender equality in masculine work environments such as the Oxfordshire innovation ecosystem has improved in recent years, the underrepresentation of women is visible. Through my research, I aim to develop practical suggestions for companies and the innovation ecosystem of Oxfordshire to ensure gender inclusive innovation and long-term growth in the region. My research will take a mixed-method approach. The tools of my data collection will comprise a self-completion online questionnaire, with which I am intending to grasp the employees’ perceptions. To also understand the perspectives of the companies I am intending to interview key informants within innovative businesses. Since the companies are embedded and operating in the Oxfordshire innovation ecosystem, I would like to capture the context and the culture of this environment using observations. By analysing all levels at which innovation takes place - employee, company, ecosystem - I am aiming for a holistic view. This PhD is in collaboration with Advanced Oxford, a research-led group of senior leaders from the area’s major knowledge-intensive businesses. They support me in gaining deeper knowledge about the Oxfordshire innovation ecosystem and building research relevant relationships.