2019 – 2020
Like in most countries, gender equality in Lithuania is a sensitive subject. Despite the fast adoption of western values over the last 30 years of independence, Lithuania still largely remains a middle-aged, white male-dominated society.
This tendency also reflects in higher education. University courses are very rigidly academic and sometimes even teach material irrelevant to modern times.
To create a learning platform exclusively tailored for women.
Most of the world initially was built with an image of a man in mind, higher education is no exception. In the world of scoreboards, competition, winners and losers, most women struggle with confidence. No wonder why. Women learn differently. For them, being together has more value than being the best.
Women are exceptional at learning. However, most of them live busy lives of motherhood, career, taking care of their relatives or friends and find it difficult to fit one more full time activity into their days. Because of this, alongside the weekly lecture, we needed to give them bite-sized daily tasks. It demanded bite-sized daily effort without overwhelming and kept their motivation high by providing a continuous sense of progress.
Main persona portraits that came from ethnographic research.
From our research, we also knew that different from men, women prefer more meaningful contact that large audiences often fail to provide. Hence, we split all of our students into small groups of four that had to be accountable for each other. These groups became base structures for larger communities, where students who, by then, knew each other pretty well, could recommend one of them to become a lecturer for a day.
To give the communities their space and make students feel like they are a part of a movement, we formed a separate Facebook group for them to curate their own content and share things that matter to them. To this day, Women of Wonder Facebook group has 7.8k members.
WoW University Facebook community.
While industry giants such as EdX or Coursera struggle to retain their students, 90% of WoW students have graduated. More than that, a part of them came back to repeat the same course material next year just to be with the community they have grown to love.
Moments from year one graduation ceremony.
My role in the project:
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