Women, Innovation and Housewares: The role of women in making revolutionary changes in the housewares industry in the past, present and future

Paper details

THIS PAPER WILL BE USED AS THE FULL SOURCE MATERIAL FOR A SEMINAR. While famous names like silver screen siren Hedy Lamarr and Dr. Grace Hopper are most often cited as the most significant women contributors to science and technology, there are dozens of women spanning generations who have gone largely unrecognized. Of particular interest are those women who, in their everyday lives, have discovered a problem at home and resolved it, from inventing the square-bottom paper bag (Margaret Knight), building the world’s first working dishwasher (Josephine Cochrane), coffee maker (Melitta Benz) and solar-heated home (Dr. Maria Telkes), and – yes – even inventing chocolate chip cookies (Ruth Wakefield). 75% of the paper should cover this: The fact is, women have been inventing and innovating for the home for centuries. In a chronological fashion, we want to be able to cite several women spanning the centuries, the accomplishments they made (the problem they solved, how they creatively did it) and their impact, proving how women have uniquely contributed to household innovation. We are particularly interested in surprising or amusing anecdotes that will bring their struggles or problem-saving solutions to life. 20% of the paper should cover this: In addition, we want to look at contemporary women who are housewares industry innovators and how women are playing a strong role in the housewares industry future. 5% of the paper should cover this: In the coming years, women will be taking even more significant leadership roles in advancing technology for home use through programs such as STEM education, that are helping pave the way for more women to take leadership positions in product and service development.

The role of women in making revolutionary changes in the housewares industry in the past, present and future