Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators

Gender and Sustainability

This section provides an explanation of gender within the context of this guide, and highlights some of the reasons that you as incubators and accelerators might want to improve the gender equality, diversity, and inclusivity of your organisations, programs, and ecosystems.

What is Gender?

Gender refers to the cultural or societal expectations and stereotypes that dictate appropriate roles, behaviours, and actions associated with a particular gender. Across the world, many people still hold that there are only two genders – men and women. This gender binary, the idea of only two genders, is based on sex assigned at birth. However, many societies and cultures have recognised more than two genders.

Source: The Criterion Institute


Words and concepts can mean different things to different people around the world.

You are we encouraged to define gender and the ideas surrounding it in a way that makes sense to you and the contexts that you live and work in.

How Does Gender Differ From Sex?

While sex is biological, gender is socially constructed; gender is not the same as sex.

Why is Gender Important for Incubators and Accelerators?

There are many important reasons to strive for gender equality, diversity, and inclusivity within our organisations, programs, and ecosystems. Achieving gender equality also constitutes a fundamental human right, and is essential to achieving sustainable development, vibrant economies, and peaceful societies more broadly.

Striving to be inclusive of all genders  can help us to:

  • 01.

    Improve understanding

    Better understand our entrepreneurs and investors’ evolving needs

  • 02.

    Increase impact

    Deliver more impactful programs and services that support entrepreneurs of all genders, and in doing so create a more diverse investment pipeline for our investors


  • 03.

    Improve decision-making

    Make better decisions, as more diversity on our boards and leadership team can lead to a more balanced decision-making process

  • 04.

    Increase competitive advantage

    Be more competitive and innovative as a result of incorporating a variety of views and ideas


  • 05.

    Attract quality talent

    Attract, select, and retain talent with environments that are inclusive and supportive to all

  • 06.

    Support sustainability

    Increase social equity and contribute to sustainable development by supporting the critical role that women play in economic, environmental, and social development


  • Five Key Concepts of Using a Gender Lens

    A handout from ygap and the Criterion Institute

  • Practices to Support Action Plan Implementation

    A handout from ygap and the Criterion Institute

  • Run #LikeAGirl

    A video from the Always advertising campaign

  • Man Up

    A video from the Man Up social awareness campaign




How gender relates to your organisation, its structure and its people