There are serious gender and diversity gaps in patenting


Shelley O’Brien

There are serious gender and diversity gaps in patenting
AWIS is hosting a panel of patent experts to share lessons learned in honor of National Entrepreneurship Week

WASHINGTON, DC, February 17, 2021 – Founded in 2006, National Entrepreneurship Week is a congressionally chartered initiative dedicated to increasing entrepreneurship across the United States. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness, showcase innovations, and build equitable access to a national entrepreneurship ecosystem.

There are serious gender and diversity gaps in patenting. According to

  • Women make up 51% of the populations, and receive 53% of PhDs, but only 13% of inventors listed on patents are women.
  • The percentage of Black and Hispanic college graduates who hold patents is approximately half of white college graduates.
  • Individuals born to families in the top 1% of income are ten times more likely to invent and obtain a patent in their lifetime than individuals born to families in the bottom half of income.

Individuals with patents receive higher income, recognition, and career advancement opportunities. However, experts report that increasing diversity in R&D and patenting is also good for the economy and could increase US GDP by up to $700 billion per year.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is working to expand and strengthen the American innovation ecosystem by making it more demographically, geographically, and economically inclusive. It has convened leaders from industry, academia, government, and nonprofit organizations to launch the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI) to make recommendations in a report to be published this summer.

AWIS Webinar: Stories from Inside the Patent Process

To help increase the diversity of patent holders, the Association for Women in Science is hosting a panel of patent and intellectual property experts to answer questions and share their experiences including:

  • Dr. Tina Dorr, a partner and patent attorney at Cantor Colburn LLP and former biochemist
  • Dr. Sharon Hausdorff, Vice President and Chief IP Counsel, Teva Pharmaceuticals, a registered US patent agent, Israeli patent attorney, and former biochemist
  • Emily Kinser, a lab manager at 3M, PhD candidate at Yale University, and former IBM Master Inventor with 50 issued patents and another 19 patents pending

Register to hear these brilliant women describe the patent process, its challenges and lessons learned on February 25 at 12:00 EST. This event is open to anyone and FREE for AWIS members as one of the many member benefits.

Please help fuel America’s innovation engine by sharing this event widely — especially with women and minorities.


About AWIS: The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a global network with 80 grassroots chapters and affiliates connecting more than 100,000 professionals in STEM with members, allies and supporters worldwide. Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. To learn more, visit and @AWISNational.

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© 2023 Association for Women in Science. All Rights Reserved.