The Hill Opinion: Closing the gender patenting gap could unlock innovation, by Barbara Gault
This post originally appeared in The Hill on December 1, 2016.
Women and especially women of color, patent inventions at much lower rates than men, which means that innovations to improve technology, treat illness, and improve everyday life are being left on the table. A recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that under 20 percent of all U.S. patents list one or more women as inventors, and just under eight percent list a woman as the primary inventor. At the current rate of progress, men and women will not reach parity in patenting for over three quarters of a century—in the year 2092.
Policymakers should work to ensure that funding to support women and people of color in STEM fields remains strong and that as a nation we hold ourselves accountable for equal access to opportunity in innovation.