Patent News

Sep. 27, 2016

PBS NewsHour: Why are most inventors men?, by Laura Santhanam

This post originally appeared in PBS NewsHour on September 27, 2016.

For 226 years, men led the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the agency that fosters American innovation and entrepreneurship. Enter Michelle Lee, the agency’s first female leader.

A Silicon Valley native who built a radio with her father in the family living room, Lee grew up with female classmates who thrived in math and science.

But there were fewer females in her computer science and electrical engineering classes at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology and even fewer as she went on to conduct lab research for Hewlett-Packard. Today, despite occupying half the nation’s jobs, women hold fewer than a quarter of jobs in science, technology, engineering and math, she said.