Pauline Beck (UK Intellectual Property Office)
29 November 2022 @ 12:30 - 13:30
- Past event
Innovation statistics on gender and inventorship
Abstract. The UK Government has been inspiring girls and women to study and build careers in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. While educational diversity statistics are comprehensive, in industry, however, the statistics primarily rely on ‘inputs’ data such as the number of women employed. Very little data is available on the ‘outputs’ of work undertaken by women within STEM industries, but it is of great importance to governments and policymakers to understand the underrepresentation of women within science and technology.
Whilst absolute patent counts do not give a direct measure of innovation, they can be used to provide a measurable ‘output’ of STEM industries to analyse the inventor demographic, to understand how inventor gender influences the patent system. This study by the UK Intellectual Property Office uses baseline name-gender datasets, fusing them with published patents data from the EPO Worldwide Patent Statistics database. It is now possible, with a high degree of confidence, to infer gender from inventor name data and provide statistical analysis about the patenting activity of female inventors.
This study shows that in 1980 under 4% of patent applications were filed by women. Although this figure has increased, the overall percentage of women innovators and inventors remains low. Internationally, France, (12.8%), Russia (15.7%) and Korea (18.1%) all out-perform the UK (7%).
Originally published in 2019, the results provide quantitative data to back up anecdotal evidence about female inventors within the IP industry, providing a sound basis for future evidence-based policy.