It is a legal requirement that each inventor is named on a patent application.  Although patent counts do not give a direct measure of innovation, they are a well known measurable ‘output’ of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries.

Only 7% of all inventors worldwide are female but this is increasing.  A recent study found a 16% increase in female inventors on GB patent applications in the last 10 years. The proportion of patents with a female inventor (either working alone or as part of a team) increased by more than 500% between 1975 and 2015 and in recent years over 25% of all patents have at least one named female inventor.

There are some noticeable differences in the number of female inventor worldwide:

  • Russian (15.7%)
  • French (11.7%)
  • American (8.7%)
  • British (7.3%)
  • German (5.5%)
  • Korean (4.4%)
  • Japanese (3.7%)

The average is 7.2%.