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  • 06.03.04

Are Idea Systems Biased?

One of the interesting pieces of information that we uncovered while doing the research for Ideas Are Free was that some idea schemes show a strong gender bias. This was particularly true with the suggestion systems we saw in Sweden. The labor contract for almost all companies, which was negotiated at the national level, stated that if an employee came up with an idea, he or she is entitled to 50% of the first year’s savings or profit from it. (Note: This huge bribe did not increase participation a single bit.) The puzzling fact was that women offered only one-tenth as many ideas as men. In Sweden, clearly one of the most egalitarian nations in the world, the idea systems seem to be discriminatory. Anecdotal evidence from North American showed that several companies that offered large monetary rewards to individuals with ideas also had far greater male participation

Does anyone have any thoughts on this finding?

FCS