While women's contributions to science and technology have been increasing in recent decades, parity with men has still not been reached. As a result, society is missing out on many goods, drugs and services due to the low participation of women in inventive activities.
Our study specifically focuses on the participation of women in patenting in the EPO member states. The study aims to provide relevant insights and evidence on the contribution of women to technological innovation and its development over time, and the gaps that remain to be bridged to realise the full potential of women inventors in Europe.
Assessing women's participation in patenting is useful not only to account for this gender gap, but also to understand its causes and consequences. Unlike most indicators of women's participation in STEM activities, patents provide a precise measure of the output of inventive activities at the individual level. It therefore enables a granular analysis of the activities of women inventors, including their distribution across industries and geographic locations, the science and technology fields in which they specialise, as well as their position in scientific teams and collaboration networks.