Gender Equality Hackathon

17 - 19 November 2017

Impact Hub Geneva

12 challenges

Welcome to the SDG Accelerator #PolicyHack on GENDER EQUALITY 


The SDG Accelerator #PolicyHack is a two and a half day event aiming to create a space for the development of new tools and innovations tackling gender equality challenges. We want you to bring in your individual skills and professional experiences in order to brainstorm, discuss and find solutions together. We are looking for bright minds from all walks of life in order to find innovative and sustainable solutions to the proposed challenges.


After Movie 

Discover the Challenges

Transparency in public innovation funds

Out of the 100 best startups ranking in 2017 in Switzerland, only 11 have women CEO or co-founders. The gender gap regarding access to innovation funds and the lack of inspiring role models for girls to embrace tech careers could be some of the key reasons. According to the FONDETEC Annual Report 2016, women earn half the amount of money men do in innovation. This questions the transparency of public funding processes for startups in Switzerland, but also questions the attribution of funds from a gender equality perspective. In order to move towards equal treatment, action is required to improve the systems and processes of public fund attribution to innovation startups. 

By Green Go Web

Girls in engineering

According to recent statistics, around 20% of Swiss baccalaureates in the field of physics and applied mathematics are awarded to women. As research has shown, stereotypes and gender bias associated with technical and engineering topics are still strongly anchored in people's minds in Switzerland. The transition from lower secondary education to high school functions as an early and major filter in the educational and professional trajectory of girls and boys. So, how can we positively impact young women’s aspirations, achievements and confidence and offer them equal incentives to choose technical and engineering studies and careers?

by Bureau de l'égalité de l'EPFL

Empowering future female change makers

Women have always been changemakers. Women in every country, in every community, are pushing for progress. Due to socioeconomic conditions and limited access to quality education, a lot of girls around the world grow up without knowing about what job opportunities are available to them. Universities, non-profit sectors and different stakeholders are building e-learning platforms to provide fair and equal access to education for all. Unfortunately, most of the time, children aren’t aware of such learning opportunities. E-learning can be the enabling factor that provides the practical knowledge and skills that help one’s potential flourish, and empower girls economically. How can we ensure that girls are benefitting from the digital revolution as equally as boys? How can digitalisation provide them with more choices with their future career prospects? How to promote self-directed learning among girls in remote areas and developing countries? 

By Empowerment Lab

Changing perceptions

As the level of visibility and recognition of the gender equality cause has increased over the past decades, there seems to be a paradoxical growing disbelief, annoyance, even sometimes even anger amongst a segment of the male population. Gender-based discrimination is perceived as not relevant to them, because they don’t experience its consequences first-hand and because some of them think that it imposes unnecessary constrains to their lives. We believe that the main reason for this phenomenon is a lack of understanding of what reality truly is like for people facing systemic discrimination. Changing these perceptions seems crucial in order to bring them on board with gender equality-related debates and progress, and thus it leads us to the following question: how can we involve more people who are not facing direct discrimination in their daily lives to ensure better and more inclusive behaviors, and ultimately achieve equal opportunities for all genders?

By Lift


Positive advertising

The use of gender-based stereotypes in advertising and marketing reinforces rigid gender roles that result in far-reaching negative consequences for society. There are currently no standards or guidelines available for brands and agencies internationally or in Switzerland. Adherence to rigid gender roles and patriarchal norms limits men, women and LGBTQI individuals in their rights and opportunities. This is evidenced by existing gender bias and discrimination throughout society (home, employment, government). How could brands and agencies promote gender equality and avoids the use of gender-based stereotypes? The challenge aims at developing standards and guidelines for products and advertising that attempt to promote gender equality.

By Heather Huhtanen, David Mishra-Newberry, Davide Ballestra

Humour to fight gender inequality

One challenge around feminism and gender-related inequalities is the difficulty to understand and discern it for people who are not experiencing them. Comedy and humour provide one way of making feminism more accessible by encouraging people to suspend their current beliefs and help them to overcome the negative perceptions held by feminism. How can we use humour to provide positive narratives, respectful of gender and other diversity dimensions? 


Retention of young women in the workplace

Although senior female managers are more loyal to their employer than men, the Advance Gender Intelligence report shows that the turnover (the rate at which employees leave a workforce and are replaced) among women aged 21 to 30 years old is significantly higher compared to their male counterparts. It is suspected that gender role expectations and the lack of role models plays an important role in this situtation. Additionally, young female talents themselves may perceive that they have lower chances to receive a promotion - especially once they have children or they lower their employment percentage. These may be reasons why women leave their employers at the beginning of their career more frequently than men. As it is also known that diversity in the workplace is good for business, companies should aim at higher retention rates of their female talents. What can governments, companies and women/men do to reduce the fluctuation of young women?


Women in media

Women are widely under-represented in the media, as shown by various studies. The last Global Monitoring Project in 2015 showed that women only accounted for 24% of the people seen, heard, read or in question in the media, written or audiovisual. Among the given examples, 19% are women. Le Temps did its own introspection last March by calculating the percentage of women who write in the invited author pages. In 2016, 27% of the forums published in Le Temps were signed by women. Two questions arise : on one hand, how can we improve this percentage, and on the other, how can we assess its progress ?


By Le Temps

Women in labour market : automation and AI gap


Few would disagree that technology advancement has its benefits. Its transformative power means a future with new opportunities and limitless possibilities. However, women stand to lose, as they are less likely to be working in areas where the adoption of technology will create jobs. Reflecting the marked persistence of gender gaps in labour markets in emerging economies, men stand to gain one job for every three jobs lost to technology advances, while women are expected to gain one job for every five or more jobs lost. Then, how can we make sure that the benefits of automation and AI are shared by women as well as men?


By Apolitical

Awareness raising on the importance of leadership training for women

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, it should take 170 years to achieve gender equality on a global scale. Previous projections were first about 80 years, and later about 120 years. The progress is therefore extremely slow and we are moving backwards. Training people and providing workshops on gender equality which aim at enhancing women’s leadership skills have proven to be crucial in enabling dialogue and understanding about gender imbalances, as well as improving women’s self-confidence and skills. The goal of the challenge is to find solutions that would raise awareness towards governments and the private sector on the importance of leadership training for women.


Reintegration of women in the workforce

In Switzerland, most mothers are forced to interrupt their professional careers or lower their work percentage to take care of their newborn children. For those leaving the labor market, the possibility of reintegrating it later and the access to education is low and decreases as the years of unemployment go by. The most vulnerable persons are the ones undergoing economic vulnerability, as well as immigrating women. How do we enable the reintegration of these mothers in the work place, whilst taking into account the children at their charge, their level of education, the financial aspect or their nationality? Allowing them to have access to an education and supporting them in their search for employment seems crucial in order to provide them with an autonomous and stable situation. 

By Hospice Général


Women in leadership

Many companies in the ICT industry face a shortage of female talent in general and specifically in leadership positions. In the past, companies have invested in a number of initiatives as well as overall working conditions to promote female leadership, including but not limited to mentoring, talent programs, focused recruitment efforts, flexible working arrangements, etc. yet the results fall short of expectations.

What does it take for female leadership to increase in a company that operates in a traditionally male industry?

By Swisscom

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What about the after hackathon ?

We want to support you after the hackathon and in the next project development steps. You will each have access to individual follow up consultancy sessions from the organizers, the challenge holders and jury members. Moreover, some of our partners already pledged to present the best ideas and solutions to their respective networks.


Our partners

Bureau de l'égalité


Challenges iconography are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License and changes were made.

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