Patent News

Jul. 21, 2016

FORTUNE: There’s a Huge Gender Gap Among Inventors, by Valentina Zarya

This post originally appeared in FORTUNE on July 21, 2016.

Just 8% of primary patent-holders are women.

Where are all the female inventors?

According to a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women held fewer than one in five patents in 2010. And the numbers are even worse when it comes to women as primary inventors: Just a puny 8%.

At the current rate of progress, gender equality among patent-holders is more than 75 years away—meaning that women won’t close the “patenting gap” until 2092.

The number of patents held by female inventors has seen a five-fold increase over the past 40 years, albeit from an extremely small base. In 2010, 18.8% of patent-holders were women, compared to 3.4% in 1977, according to IWPR.