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iGIANT SxSW 2018 Announcement



Founder of the Social Movement, iGIANT®, Will Offer Her Fact-Driven Insights into a Vital, Often-Overlooked Issue

Washington, DC – January 28, 2018 – Dr. Saralyn Mark, a leading expert on how gender and sex impact every aspect of our lives – including work performance – and a passionate advocate for fostering gender equality, will bring her interactive, high-energy and tech-informed presentation on the issue to attendees at the 2018 SXSW Conference, March 9 in Austin, TX.

Fittingly, the session is entitled “It’s Time to See Through a Gender/Sex Lens!” It will explore how, in a one-size-fits-all world, men and women nonetheless interact differently to technology, from medications to cars to smart phones and even clothing. Engaging with the audience, she will show how recent research into sex- and gender-specific design elements can have a positive impact on personal safety and quality of life, in and out of the workplace.

“We’re living in a very dynamic, transformational time, when issues surrounding sexual harassment and gender discrimination are finally being confronted. We’re working toward giving men and women the tools, resources and opportunities to do their jobs safely and to live well,” Dr. Mark said. “I’m excited to inspire our audience at SXSW to peer through this sex/gender lens so they can envision innovative solutions to improve all our lives.”

Mark is a physician, professor, author and entrepreneur whose seminal work has taken her to key positions in industry and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and NASA. At NASA she led ground-breaking studies that showed how male and female bodies adapt differently to space and the importance of sex-specific designs including space suits to meet their needs. She also served as a medical and scientific policy advisor in the Obama White House, where she created the blueprint for the iGIANT® – an acronym for the “Impact of Gender/Sex on Innovation and Novel Technologies.”

In 2016, the iGIANT became a nonprofit with the mission “to accelerate the translation of research into gender/sex-specific design elements such as products, programs, policies and protocols.” The iGIANT accomplishes this through roundtable discussions with the public, challenge competitions, scholarships and eventually an iGIANT seal of approval for design elements.

iGIANT has conducted pioneering work in the field of gender/sex-based design and function in 4 sectors:

  • Information Technology: In general, women have smaller hands and a greater sense of touch than men. So, the design of keyboards and devices has led to increased repetitive stress injuries in women, studies have shown.

  • Health: Because men and women experience diseases differently, the study of the impact of gender and sex on health can improve precision medicine and health promotion strategies.

  • Transportation: Studies in the auto industry show that women are nearly 50 percent more likely to suffer more serious injuries compared to men in car crashes. Adjustments to seat design, head restraint structure and seating posture can have a powerful impact on safety.

  • Retail: Apparel, tools, sports and office equipment are a few product examples that need to be branded for use by women or men because their designs improve function and not just appearance.

Dr. Mark’s session “It’s Time to See Through a Gender/Sex Lens!” will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on March 9 in room 8ABC in the Austin Convention Center. Click here to register for 2018 SXSW.

About iGiant®:

The iGIANT® (impact of Gender/Sex on Innovation and Novel Technologies), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, accelerates the translation of research into gender/sex-specific design elements such as products, policies, protocols, and programs for health, IT, transportation and retail sectors by engaging stakeholders in government, industry, academia and advocacy. Through roundtables, summits, challenges, scholarships and an iGIANT seal of approval for design elements, the iGIANT aspires to improve the safety and quality of life, including work performance, for men and women. It is the only organization in the world doing such work, and has been often recognized for that.

About SXSW:

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2018 will take place March 9-18, 2018.

SXSW 2018 is sponsored by Capital One, Mercedes-Benz, Bud Light, and The Austin Chronicle.


Jonathan Taylor

Robertson Taylor Partners

310.880.4951 – m/w

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