International Women’s Day 2024

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IP offices for an equitable future

Over 75 intellectual property offices worldwide joined the EPO in issuing a statement to commemorate International Women's Day and reaffirm their support for transformation. The statement noted that "In countries worldwide, women face challenges and barriers in accessing resources, resulting in their stark underrepresentation in the IP ecosystem. Acknowledging this, our objective is clear: to drive inclusion and diversity to support, inspire, and accelerate increased participation from all women so that they can access, to develop, commercialize, and distribute innovations and creative works. By investing in women, we believe we can better reach our collective aim to transform the challenges women face in the IP ecosystem into opportunities."

In addition, the EPO participated in a symposium hosted by the USPTO. The annual event brings together representatives from IP offices and government to discuss topics related to women in IP. During the 2024 event, the EPO delivered a virtual presentation entitled "Empowering Women: fuelling inventive activity". The presentation highlighted the gender gap, in women's inventive activity and put the spotlight on inspiring women, role- models from the European Inventor Award, who broke glass ceilings, and whose inventions offer solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges.

Watch, listen, learn

This year's focus "Invest in women: Accelerate progress" explores gender equality at a time when the world faces multiple challenges, such as the disproportional impact of geopolitical conflicts, climate disasters and slowing economies on women, just to mention a few. To highlight these important challenges, several EPO colleagues appeared in a short video and shared their thoughts on equality, the need for change, and creating a working environment that values all contributions.

Additionally, the EPO has released a new podcast episode today. It features a conversation with three women from the fields of patents and STEM, honoring remarkable female inventors and sharing their personal journeys within their professions. The episode, titled "Get STEMpowered this International Women's Day", is now available on Spotify and other leading podcast platforms.

About International Women's Day

With roots in the women's suffrage movement, IWD has been commemorated in various forms and countries for well over a century. The first European observance took place in 1911 and soon drew supporters in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In 1975, the UN began celebrating IWD and two years later invited member states to proclaim the day as an official UN holiday.