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Expert Commission: Shaping Digitization in a Gender-Equitable Way


Almost two years ago, ECDF professor Timm Teubner was appointed by Federal Minister Franziska Giffey to the expert commission on the German government's Third Report on Gender Equality. Since then, the commission has been investigating what course needs to be set so that women and men have equal opportunities within the digital economy. On January 26, 2021, the Commission of Experts handed over the completed report to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs.

The title for the German government's Third Report on Gender Equality is "Making Digitization Gender Equitable”. It was prepared by an eleven-member commission of experts from various disciplines. ECDF Professor Timm Teubner represented the field of business informatics. "Digitization opens up the opportunity to strengthen gender equality and thus democratic society," says Prof. Dr. Aysel Yollu-Tok, chair of the expert commission. To this end, the panel identified three main approaches:

1. gender-equitable access to relevant resources

2. gender-equitable use of digital technology

3. shaping the digital transformation process in a gender-responsive way

The commission provides 101 concrete recommendations for action to achieve them.

"The research question requires a high degree of interdisciplinarity. Each and every one of us has different research focuses, which has resulted in innovative findings," explains Timm Teubner. In addition to business informatics, experts from business administration, economics, law, sociology, computer science and education were also represented. Not surprisingly, the commission advocated an interdisciplinary and socio-technical approach to automated processes which takes the social context into account. This includes, for example, standardizing and systematically implementing existing methods for gender-equitable and non-discriminatory IT systems in practice. The commission encourages a paradigm shift: "It is not women who must adapt to the working norms of the digital industry ('fix the women'), but rather the prevailing work and organizational culture must be made gender-appropriate ('fix the company')," the report states. The stereotype of the male entrepreneur must be dismantled.

Among other topics, ECDF professor Timm Teubner conducts research on trust in digital platforms and the work in the commission produced new findings: "The fact that there is a pay gap between men and women is now well researched, this trend is also continuing on digital platforms. However, as part of the report for the Equality Report, we also found examples of platforms where women are paid more than men," Teubner said.

Teubner hopes the report will bring a little more attention to the connections between digitization and gender equality and address certain problems that the commission has highlighted. The German government's response to the report is expected to follow in May 2021.


More information on the federal government's gender equality reports is available //here.

The full report on the Third Report on Gender Equality is available //here.