A report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) entitled “Equity in Innovation: Women Inventors and Patents” found between 2000 and 2016 the number of patent applications with a man listed as the primary inventor was more than triple the number of applications with a woman listed first.
Part of the reason for women’s small share of patents is their underrepresentation in patent-intensive STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) fields.
The report outlines several recommendations to make patenting more accessible to women:
- developing systems and data tools to better track women’s patenting activity
- networks for women inventors and entrepreneurs
- making the patenting process more transparent
- making more concerted efforts to get more girls and women into STEM education
- encouraging a more equitable division of responsibility for family care and better access to affordable child care
- paid family leave for both mothers and fathers.