Our Executive Team
Dr Claire Somerville (she/her)
Dr Claire Somerville is Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies and current executive director of the Gender Centre at the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. An applied medical anthropologist with specialization in gender, Claire combines scholarly research in gender and health with practice-oriented knowledge that she contributes as expert to stakeholders in International Organizations, Human Rights, Non-Government Organizations and other international fora.
Claire’s research is defined by interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral collaboration and previous research projects have sought to bridge academic research with industry partnerships and clinical health sciences; NGOs and IOs with the intention of bringing academic insight and expertise to current global challenges and, vice versa, bring knowledge and data from global actors into the academic frame.
Claire and EQUALS-EU
Through her work at the Gender Centre, Claire has been an active member of the EQUALS Global Partnership since its launch by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2016, when she started collaborating on the current EU project. Claire aims at promoting the engagement of the Graduate Institute students to find solutions to womens’ and girls’ digital inclusion, develop women-led start-ups, and finally provide support to future women-leaders in digital innovation.
“It is an enormous opportunity to push the frontiers on digital inclusion in both research and in practice.
The technology and STEM areas have been slow to engage and then retain women and girls but the digital gender gap is deeper and wider than the workforce and its tech users.
I worked as an applied research anthropologist in the digital health field for several years in the mid-2000s and there was little awareness of the digital gender gap unfolding before our eyes, nor of the gendered social norms reproduced through technology.
The pandemic has accelerated progress in the digital health space – from telemedicine to the use of disease transmission apps and wearable oxygen meters in smart watches – and research that captures the gendered dimensions to these societal innovations will be an important pillar of research going forward.”