Tay Jacobe (Idea Home)

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This page is where Tay is keeping her ideas for future projects so she does not lose track of it all.

Spring 2017

Posts that look almost done:

I am hoping to help edit and refine these posts so we can eventually publish them!

Blog Post ideas

Fall 2016

General Ideas

  • Setting innovation precedents in the workplace
  • Innovators at Rice series
  • Innovating Leadership- The Doerr Institute
  • Get Out of your Innovation Box: The Importance of Innovating in Non-STEM Fields
  • The types of Innovation
    • Empowering Change (using the work of Windrum, 2008) included six types of innovation in the public sector.
      • Services innovation—a new or improved service.
      • Service delivery innovation—a new or different way of providing a service.
      • Administrative or organisational innovation—a new process.
      • Conceptual innovation—a new way of looking at problems, challenging current assumptions, or both.
      • Policy innovation—a change to policy thinking or behavioural intentions.
      • Systemic innovation—a new or improved way for parts of the public sector to operate and interact with stakeholders
  • Baker Institute transition documents- Kirsten Matthews, Neil Lane
  • Immigration
  • Post-doctoral students commercializing
  • For pictures: Wiki commons page, copy and paste the information in there

Innovation in the Public Sector series

  • Innovation in the public sector: drafted first article
  • I’d like to do another piece, specifically on where the R&D budget for the public sector is being allocated. Is it going solely to STEM? Are policy innovation and other less-stereotypical types of innovation being encouraged?
  • potential to do an article on the commercialization of innovation in the public sector- often, innovators within the government do not commercializa their product even though they could probably benefit from it
  • There is a scientific aspect to this; when new policies or policy processes are made, you need to test their effectiveness
  • When it comes to prioritizing innovation, the United States is near the top of the list. The US’s contributions constitute 29.8 percent of the world’s expenditures on Research and Development (R&D), trailing only behind China, which constitutes 35.7 percent. These two countries alone comprise almost two-thirds of the world’s R&D expenditures. However, when you look deeper into these statistics, you’ll see that 11.2% of all R&D expenditures in the U.S. are going to the public sector. This works out to 3.34% of the world’s expenditure on R&D being funneled specifically into U.S. government innovation. This is higher than Switzerland, Israel, and Bermuda’s contributions combined. When the more money is being spent on R&D for just the U.S. government than other countries are spending both publically and privately, the stakes become higher to ensure that our funds are being used efficiently and effectively.
  • Government prioritization of innovation can lead to higher efficiency, lower costs, and higher civilian satisfaction with the government. If the U.S. government wishes to use its resources wisely, innovation promotion should be a top goal.
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a multilateral organization focused on stimulating the world economy, has conducted extensive research in the field of public sector innovation. Observing that many governments do not institutionalize innovation or utilize the many resources available to them for developing innovation efficiency, the OECD has placed priority on “developing analytical and measurement frameworks to understand and foster public-sector innovation”. When the OECD recognized that some countries may not be making their own efforts to encourage innovation, they partnered with the World bank to create the Innovation Policy Platform (IPP), an internet resource which provides top-tier information on best practices and strategies for encouraging innovation through policy. The OECD Observatory for Public Sector Innovation is also working on developing their own toolkit in hopes that it will revolutionize the innovation toolkit trend. It will draw from information from multiple governments, base guidance on the innovation cycle, incorporate lessons from practitioners, and filter for the most relevant information to aid users. However, some governments have displayed an emphasis on innovation through their own, individual efforts. For example, both Australia and the UK have “toolkits” for innovation within their public sectors, providing resources and strategies for public servants to find innovative solutions to issues.
  • https://www.innovationpolicyplatform.org/about
  • https://www.innovationpolicyplatform.org/content/statistics-ipp

Solutions and policy action

Blog Series: Women’s role in our innovation economy

  • 1: Importance of women within the innovation economy
  • Girls’ education as it relates to women in the workforce
  • The Glass Cliff- explain the phenomenon, the problem, and potential solutions
  • Resources in Houston for women in entrepreneurship
  • What Does a Female Entrepreneur Look Like? (already drafted, Dylan Dickens)
  • Women’s role in encouraging innovation in the workplace
    • http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/opinion/2015/03/06/women-for-innovation
    • “A study of entrepreneurship found start-ups led by women entrepreneurs tend to perform better. High technology firms established by women generated higher revenues and had higher survival rates. The reason? Women were found to be more resilient to setbacks and persevere in the face of adverse outcomes”
    • “A recent study in the academic review Science, examined the determinants of success in teams across a range of tasks – the researchers studied hundreds of teams and explored factors such as the intelligence level of individual team members. A critical factor of success? The proportion of females in the team. Researchers reason that a motivating factor behind success of teams is social sensitivity – or the abilities of team members to ascertain the spoken and unspoken needs of others and to be able to respond proactively to those needs. Researchers in a follow-up study ascribe the superior ability of women to read complex emotions to success in teamwork. Scientific research with more women researchers in teams is more likely to be breakthrough because the diversity brings about greater creativity and fresh approaches to look at the same problem in a new way.”
  • Women in Entrepreneurship (already drafted, Ariel)

Women research

General ideas

  • Immigration: PhD students who are graduating with STEM degrees- proportion of women?
  • Compare to other countries and regions of the world, compare to other fields
  • Public and private sector innovation and workforce issues
    • Are women more in innovation in public v. private sector?
  • Wages should equal average marginal productivity: is this the reason for the wage gap? (I sure hope not)
  • Loyalty to firm
  • Personality differences
    • Risk aversion and decision outcomes
    • Leadership styles
  • There may be other reasons that women are less likely to be involved in start-up companies beyond their lack of training. Are women more risk adverse? Do they face discrimination when seeking credit? Do they prefer established companies with formalized benefit programs?, etc.

What is being done by the US government to remedy this issue?

  • As one way to address this disparity, the Administration intends to take new steps to expand workplace flexibility policies at select science and technology (S&T) agencies. Additionally, the U.S, in collaboration with private and non-profit stakeholders, is announcing a number of new steps, including:
  • Improving data collection and dissemination: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) intend to compile data on women’s participation in selected Federal S&T programs, including to identify any disparities
  • Building the skilled mentor pool: The Department of Energy will expand women in STEM mentoring efforts to office sites across the country, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will connect its scientists with opportunities to mentor girls, and the Environmental Protection Agency will work with organizations to encourage STEM mentoring for college women.
  • Harvey Mudd College and Piazza who launch WitsOn, a 6-week online program connecting students with leading female mentors from industry and academia Additionally, Causecast, a technology firm offering online tools for corporate volunteering, will launch GIT Inspired!, a campaign supporting girls in technology.
  • Encouraging research-based STEM teaching: Discovery Education will announce the development of S☥EM POWER!, a program dedicated to tapping into girls’ passions, interests, and capabilities, while empowering them with the tools to succeed in STEM fields.
  • Broadening access to online/mobile STEM skills training: Connect2Compete, a nonprofit launched by the Federal Communications Commission, will expand outreach efforts to include specific collaboration with women & girl-serving groups. NASA and the U.S Geological Survey will each pursue new efforts to include natural disaster data in educational materials to highlight real world applications of STEM – an essential link for women and girls.
  • Finally, Creative Commons and the Open CourseWare Consortium will establish a task force to investigate the impact of STEM-related open educational resources on girls.


  • Investing in women entrepreneurs is an essential part of the President’s plan to create an economy built to last. Between 1997 and 2007, women-owned companies in the U.S grew at nearly twice the rate of all privately held U.S firms, adding roughly 500,000 jobs. Yet, many women entrepreneurs have difficulty accessing the tools, financing, and networks they need to start and grow their own businesses. The Administration is announcing new steps to further support women entrepreneurs, including:
  • Expanding entrepreneurship training opportunities for women veterans, youth, and women aged 50+: In 2013, the Small Business Administration (SBA) intends to expand Operation Boots to Business to offer over 40,000 transitioning women service members the opportunity to access knowledge, tools, and resources needed to evaluate and succeed in entrepreneurship as they transition back into the civilian workforce. Additionally, Start Young - a partnership between SBA and the Department of Labor, will provide young adults with fundamental knowledge about small business opportunities and resources available to promote economic self-sufficiency - will expand the number of cities in which it operates in. Finally, the Encore Entrepreneurship partnership between the SBA and AARP will give women the tools to start new ventures in midlife and beyond through targeted training materials that take into account their different financial needs and opportunities.
  • Promoting women in innovation: The Small Business Innovation and Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs at SBA represent approximately $2.5 billion in federal funding of R&D specifically targeted to small businesses. Following a convening of key stakeholders later this year, Federal agencies will set goals to meaningfully increase the participation of women-owned small businesses and women principal investigators in these programs

Education facts:

  • http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/gender-equity-in-education.pdf
    • Despite women’s gains in some nontraditional fields as a whole, the rate of female enrollment in certain career clusters remains at persistently low levels. In 2009-2010, females made up less than 25% of participants in science, technology, engineering, and math programs nationally. (21% at the secondary level and 24% at the postsecondary level).
    • Girls outnumber boys in enrollment in AP science, AP foreign languages, and several other AP subjects. In AP mathematics (calculus and statistics), however, boys have consistently outnumbered girls by up to 10,000 students
  • http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/womeninstemagaptoinnovation8311.pdf
    • There are many possible factors contributing to the discrepancy of women and men in STEM jobs, including: a lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less family-friendly flexibility in the STEM fields. Regardless of the causes, the findings of this report provide evidence of a need to encourage and support women in STEM.

STEM distribution

    • The relatively few women who receive STEM degrees are concentrated in physical and life sciences, in contrast to men, who are concentrated primarily in engineering.

Where do women and men end up if they get a stem degree?

    • In contrast, female STEM majors are twice as likely as men to work in education or healthcare. Nearly one in five STEM college-educated women works in healthcare occupations, compared with about one in ten men. Likewise, approximately 14 percent of female STEM majors end up in education occupations, compared with approximately 6 percent of men. Similar shares of men and women with STEM degrees worked in business and financial occupations or other fields.
    • These may include different choices men and women typically make in response to incentives in STEM education and STEM employment – for example, STEM career paths may be less accommodating to people cycling in and out of the workforce to raise a family – or it may be because there are relatively few female STEM role models. Perhaps strong gender stereotypes discourage women from pursuing STEM education and STEM jobs

Unused research/paragraphs

  • From a broader societal perspective, having more women in the workforce benefits families greatly. According to data from the Half the Sky movement for women and girls, women reinvest 90% of their income in their families and are more likely than men to spend their earnings on food, education, and healthcare. Strictly from an economic perspective, involving more women in the workforce also increases productivity within the economy, increasing GDP.
  • That is why the public sector must be encouraged to think outside of the box and innovate better methods for approaching challenges.
  • There are some countries, like the Democratic Republic of Congo, in which 100% of all R&D expenditures are publicly-funded.
  • A part of the problem may stem from a misunderstanding of the issue among employees and employers in the innovation sector. Perceptions of gender inequality in the workplace show that although companies may say that gender diversity is important to their senior management, most employees do not feel as if it is a priority at their workplace. Gender diversity is reported to be important by 74 percent of companies, but only between one third and one half of employees report that they believe that their CEOs and managers actually prioritize gender diversity [X]. Additionally, there seems to be a disconnect in how men specifically approach this issue: according to studies by Lean In and McKinsey & Company, 70 percent of men say that they think gender diversity is important, but only 12 percent believe women have fewer opportunities. Along with this, men are less likely than women to believe that their organization must do more when it comes to closing gender gaps, and 13 percent of men believe that gender-diversity programs make it harder for them to advance due to the prioritization of women employees. In sectors like innovation, where the employee base is heavily male, this perception among men can have an effect on the motivation and opportunities for women to enter and stay involved within the fields of innovation.
  • Representation and empowerment are two huge factors in whether or not women will feel encouraged to become more present within innovation sectors, but historically, there has been underrepresentation of women in most high-paying fields. Two questions now face us: why aren’t more women getting involved in innovation, and why aren’t innovation employers placing more emphasis on gender diversity?
  • Some private firms have also taken initiative to try to remedy this issue. Recognizing that astoundingly small numbers of minorities were taking the AP Computer Science exam in high school, Facebook announced a $15 million donation to Code.org in July 2016. Code.org’s mission is to provide every student in the United States with access to computer science education.
  • Many tech companies also have internal initiatives to promote gender diversity. Microsoft has a Women Employee Resource Group for women employees. Microsoft also participates in community outreach to girls through programs like their DigiGirlz day, where young girls are introduced to opportunities in the tech industry.

Tay Jacobe (Work Log) Taylor Jacobe