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Women in Innovation – reaching untapped audiences with inclusivity

June 21, 2021

Giulia Sirigu
Senior innovation and growth specialist


On 15th June, we hosted yet another monthly Women in Innovation event – this time we talked all about reaching untapped audiences with inclusivity which covered the following key points:

  • How to create more inclusive and well considered products and services considering intended users
  • How to improve your customer experience
  • Hear from different entrepreneurs’ experiences
  •  Connect with other women innovators and enlarge their network
  • Understand the support opportunities available for their business


  • Dr Giulia Sirigu, Senior Innovation & Growth Specialist - Innovate UK EDGE
  • Dr Patricia Gestoso, Head of Services


How to create inclusive products and services - Dr Patricia Gestoso, scientific services leader and an inclusion and ethics tech evangelist guided participants through a reflection on who is impacted by the experience business are creating. Patricia guided the audience through a set of provoking exercises that allowed delegates to reflect on their areas of improvement. The attendees were invited to reflect on their limiting beliefs and the change they wanted to make identifying who was impacted by their product and services. The exercises were developed using an assessment methodology  that enables tech developers, founders and products and service creators to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for the actual and potential negative impacts of their designs.


‍Innovate UK EDGE Support - Dr Giulia Sirigu walked attendees through the importance of diversity in innovation, as a mean to boost growth while creating more inclusive products and services – therefore resulting in a higher return on equity and greater proportion of revenue from innovation.

Giulia stressed the opportunity for companies doing innovation to receive bespoke support from  dedicated Innovate UK EDGE specialists able to help them to find the best way to accelerate their growth and look for untapped audiences.  


By definition, inclusive design is essentially the process of a design in which the service / product / environment is optimised to make it inclusive towards the end user. Often we see products on the market which aren’t inclusive – and this can be for many different reasons!


Inclusivity ranges from ethnicity and race, all the way through to disability and gender – we have seen on the news more recently about the lack of inclusive colouring when brands use the colour ‘nude’ whether it be for makeup, shoes, clothing – the list goes on! As one shade of nude, doesn’t fit all!


In May, the world celebrated ‘Global Accessibility Day’ and The World Economic Forum shared some useful information about inclusive design you can check HERE.

One of the most important statistics in this article states ‘Although 90% of companies claim to prioritise diversity, only 4% consider disability in those initiatives.’ The article goes on to talk about inclusive design and how business have helped their users, and could continue to do so – check out these changes that have been put in place by some of the biggest companies we know and love:


  •  Microsoft Teams makes lip-reading easier by blurring backgrounds to remove distractions on video calls.
  • Spotify changed the colour, text formatting and size of its famous green buttons to make the user-interface more accessible.
  • TikTok introduced automated closed captions, a feature that adds subtitles without requiring users to enter the text themselves.
  • Procter & Gamble created audio-described advertisement spots and the majority of Netflix media has audio-descriptive narration.
  • Apple launched new accessibility features, which include new background sounds function in support of neurodiversity to minimize external noise distractions and a new SignTime service that offers on-demand sign language interpreters for Apple Store and Apple Support customers. 


Sure – if you’re keen to hear more about Women in Innovation and our events, or more about Innovate UK EDGE and the support that we can provide then email: InnovateUKEDGE@inventya.com REF: Women in Innovation.


Join us at the Fund Her North ‘preparing for growth in a post-covid world’ on July 22 – register now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/preparing-for-growth-in-a-post-covid-world-tickets-152876165727

June 22, 2021
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