According to a new study by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), female inventors only account for 13% of global inventor start ups. In comparison to their male counterparts, the percentage of patent applications submitted by women is extremely low. At 6th place at just 11%, UK women account for new patent applications, whilst Russia is at the top of the list at 17%, closely followed by France at 16%.
On a positive aspect, the number of female inventors has actually doubled in the last 20 years, with Bio-tech as the leading subject in new female patent applications at 53% and pharmaceutical closely following at 52%. However this study highlights that more needs to be done to encourage female inventors into entrepreneurial and research and development roles.
Opening up opportunities in education schools, colleges and universities will allow women to pioneer inventions of the future. Historically, some of the greatest women inventors known include Marie Curie (discovered radioactivity) Rosalind Franklin (role in the discovery of the structure of DNA) to Grace Hopper (a pioneer in computer programming).
How can we encourage female inventors of the future?
What is apparent is that young women should be encouraged to learn about these inspirational women and their stories, so that they too can aspire to greater careers and investigate ideas and inventions further.
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