14. Triple Helix: Gender, Entrepreneurship and Diversity in Academia

Track conveners:

Dr. Rebecca Lund relu@edu.au.dk ,

Dr. Devrim Göktepe Hultén  devrim.goktepe-hulten@fek.lu.se

Professor Helen Lawton Smith ubtm188@mail.bbk.ac.uk

Organised in association with the gender equality EU TRIGGER project

Academia and universities across the globe have been undergoing a great deal of change the past three decades. Nation states, on the basis of recommendations from international organizations such as the OECD, increasingly seek competitive advantage in the so-called ‘global knowledge economy’. To that end, numerous university and higher education reforms have been carried out, emphasizing internationalization, innovation, entrepreneurialism, societal impact, higher standards in research and diversification of funding. As a result the boundaries, logics and relationship to surrounding society are changing; the governance, management and organization of universities, as well as the nature of academic work, academic knowledge production and definitions of quality and excellence have been undergoing significant transformation. This has involved redefinitions of what counts as the valuable, good or ideal academic, and increasingly, at least within certain fields of research, the academic is constructed as a science-based entrepreneur. Although policy makers, managers and other stakeholders tend to claim these new standards for quality and success to be inevitable, objective and neutral, and even sometimes make attempts at attracting more minorities/immigrants, youth and women to embark on these career paths, many studies have shown how people are differently positioned in terms of achieving recognition and promotion, hence their career possibilities and paths look quite different (e.g. Etzkowitz et al 2000; Goel et al 2015 ). A number of scholars have critiqued the ways in which these reforms of universities, often happening in line with neoliberal values, reproduce and strengthen inequality in terms of gender, but also in terms of intersecting class, age, ethnicity (e.g. Lund 2015).

TRIGGER – an EU-funded five country gender equality project led in the UK by Birkbeck, University of London – is just one example of an initiative dedicated to improving gender equality by focusing on strategies which involve all potential stakeholders to overcome indifference, cultural resistance and backlash. TRIGGER actions are designed to build new perspectives beyond the traditional ‘neutral’ understanding of science.

This track invites contributions that explore gendered and intersecting social relations within the entrepreneurial university. How, why and to what extent does the entrepreneurial university further or hinder gender (and intersecting) equality and other forms of diversity? The track welcomes different perspectives, different methodological approaches, diverging theoretical understandings of gender and intersectionality, but expects critical analysis that can bring about new theoretical and empirical insights on this issue. Please do not hesitate to contact the track organizers with any questions regarding your contribution.

The track organizers hope that the contributions accepted for this track would take part in a special issue suggested for the Triple Helix journal, once the conference is completed and the papers developed. Suitable papers may also be considered for a special TRIGGER book on ‘gender, science & innovation’ which is currently being planned by the UK Trigger team


Etzkowitz, H. (2005) Athena Unbound: The Advancement of women in science and technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Goel, R. K., Göktepe-Hultén, D., and Ram, R. (2015) Academics’ entrepreneurship propensities and gender differences. In Journal of Technology Transfer, 161-177.

Lawton Smith, H, Etzkowitz,  H Meschitti, V and Poulovassilis, A (forthcoming) the Routledge Companion to Global Female Entrepreneurship C.Henry, T. Nelson  and K Lewis  (eds) London:Routledge.

Lund, R. (2015) Doing the Ideal academic: gender, excellence and changing academia. Helsinki: Unigrafia.


Roundtable discussion: Gender, diversity and entrepreneurship

The organizers of Triple Helix track 14 on ‘Triple Helix: Gender, entrepreneurship and diversity in academia are pleased to invite conference participants and representatives from local authorities and businesses to a roundtable discussion on gender, diversity, and entrepreneurship.

Chairs: Dr.Rebecca Lund, Professor Helen Lawton Smith, Dr. Devrim Göktepe-Hultén

The aim is to explore how researchers who have studied universities and entrepreneurship from a gender and diversity perspective can bring their knowledge to inform everyday practices at the university and beyond? The round table will consider under what conditions women want similarity or differences from men in the way they are perceived and supported. In connection to this we open up for debating experiences from everyday life and management of gender related issues in concrete workplaces.