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University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation

Are Gender Inclusive Militaries Better at Integrating Disruptive Technologies?

May 06, 2022
Shira Eini Pindyck

Publications

Why is the integration of new technologies often so difficult? This policy brief by IGCC fellow Shira Eini Pindyck highlights an important and overlooked reason, namely how gender policy can affect resistance to organizational change.

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Recent advances in big data and analytics, cyber security, automation, and artificial intelligence can make critical contributions to the demonstration of power on the international stage. New technologies not only offer militaries the ability to conduct operations with greater effectiveness but also reduce the potential human cost of operations. In an increasingly digitized world, organizations that do not adopt and leverage these advances can become inefficient and even fall by the wayside. Yet, despite the immense promise of emerging technologies, many organizations struggle to integrate and utilize them. This is true in both the military and business sectors. For business organizations, a failure to adopt and use novel technologies may threaten profits and even their survival. For militaries, where soldiers’ lives are on the line, the consequences can be even more severe.

Why is the integration of new technologies often so difficult? This policy brief by IGCC fellow Shira Eini Pindyck highlights an important and overlooked reason, namely how gender policy can affect resistance to organizational change. Gender policy reform requires organizations to invest resources in the recruitment and retainment of an inclusive workforce, and therefore demands that organizations be flexible and resilient. Flexibility and resilience are also required to integrate disruptive innovations. Rather than trying to chain a new technology to old systems of ascension and reward, organizations that want to advance technologically must rethink their incentive systems and work hard to restructure entrenched hierarchies.

Listen to Shira Eini Pindyck’s Talking Policy episode on gender and military innovation.

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