On the 26th of this month, World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated, this year with the theme “Women and IP: accelerating Innovation and Creativity”.


Over the centuries many environments were mostly if not completely, occupied by men. Universities and the possibility of dedicating life to research were scenes and positions where only men were accepted. It was only in the second half of the 19th century that, after much struggle, women gained the right to attend universities.


The gap between men and women in innovation is still large, and currently, many governments and companies have diversity policies to promote opportunities for women to occupy more spaces. Within the initiatives, there is the inclusion of gender equality as one of the UN SDGs (SDG 5).


This year, WIPO published a report called “The Global Gender Gap in Innovation and Creativity”, which presents some numbers referring to the fractions of women inventors in patent applications in the last 20 years.


According to the study, several factors influence the presence of women in innovation, some of those factors are the degree of investment in innovation within the country and the technological fields that are more prevalent. The presence of women is higher in the field of pharmacy and biotechnology, and lower in the field of mechanical engineering.


In an analysis by country, Brazil is among the three with the most female inventors, following Spain and Colombia.


Concerning the sector, women are more present within the university, while occupying less space in companies, in a general perspective. When analyzing the companies’ patent applications, the Brazilian company Natura Cosmeticos S. A., is in the first position of most women inventors, followed by the French L’Oreal.


Referring to another study, performed by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), patent applications filed in the last 5 years within the university were evaluated, and data showed that 87% of the applications contain at least one woman among the listed inventors, however, this is not a reality in most universities.


The WIPO report indicates that there is a tendency towards gender equality, however, to be achieved only after the 2050s. There is still a long way to go and a lot of space to be conquered by women.


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