Closing the Gender Gap in Intellectual Property (IP)
Jennifer Brant, Executive Director of Innovation Council, Co-author of “Policy Approaches to Close the Intellectual Property Gender Gap – Practices to Support Access to the Intellectual Property System for Female Innovators, Creators and Entrepreneurs”, spoke in a sharing session on “Women and IP” organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
What the future may hold: Patent analyst Kavitha Andoji aims to turn big ideas into big things
Inventions have always been part of life for Kavitha Andoji. It started in her childhood in Hyderabad, India: she began inventing new things to save her family time and money, a habit with led her to later pursue a career focused on scientific exploration. Today, she is one of the top intellectual property experts at GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions, where she has analyzed more than 50,000 patents for the company and holds six of her own. After an excursion to Germany, where she learned how to use Embedded VC++ to write embedded software (a specialized form of programming used for devices that are not personal computers, such as cars and appliances), she returned to India and joined GE as a software technical leader in one of the company’s digital energy teams, working in geographic information systems (GIS) mapping.
The Ella Project: Creating Female Role Models
The Ella Project was designed to create female role models and heroines with whom girls can identify. Importantly, all of these role models have a passion for science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and entrepreneurship. The Ella Project collects the various stories of these remarkable women in one place, and allows the women themselves to share with girls their inspiration, their views and reflections on their success, and their advice for future leaders.
International Women’s Day: Actions to help women entrepreneurs
This infographic from the Innovation Council highlights five strategies to address the gender gap in IP and encourage innovation. Among the strategies identified are better data collection, projects to connect girls and women to IP, and targeted programs to encourage women to pursue careers in IP law.
Challenges for women entrepreneurs & strategies to address the gender IP gap
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has commissioned a study, which is to be released shortly, for the purpose of identifying policies that enhance access to the intellectual property (IP) system by women inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs. While stating that it is not yet possible to identify a list of “best practices” in this area—due simply to a low level of research on the subject to date—the authors pinpoint a number of promising programs for the advancement of women in the IP system. They distill both a short list of barriers to women’s success in this arena and a lineup of possible next steps towards surmounting each of them.
Featured innovator: Diana Trujillo
Diana Trujillo started her journey when she travelled from Colombia the USA with no English and just $300 in her pocket. “As a little girl, I saw the women in my family give up a lot. It gave me the tenacity that I needed to say ‘I’m not going to give up on my dream. I want to be out there looking back in, showing my family that women have value, that women matter.’”
She took any job she could get, working nights, housekeeping, and cleaning bathrooms, in order to put herself through community college. Eventually, Diana transferred to the University of Florida, where she majored in aerospace engineering. She later became NASA Flight Director and helped design the rover’s robotic arm, which now collects rock samples on Mars.
Quotes from speakers during the “Women in Innovation” webinar, International Women’s day 2021
The Women in Innovation: Providing leadership, Creating Solutions and Driving Change webinar, held on International Women’s Day 2021, offered a glimpse into the different paths of resilience that women have taken. The impactful stories told at the event brought to light the challenges faced by women across the African continent, and offered innovative solutions that can be used to solve Africa’s problems and transform livelihoods.
Read through the quotes of the speakers here.
Girl Scouts Intellectual Property Patch Program
The Rocky Mountain Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will host the second annual Intellectual Property (IP) Patch Program, in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of Colorado. Junior Girl Scouts are invited to come learn about inventions and patents, and to receive their IP Patch.
The program includes support for the girls’ normal school curriculum, as well as structured activities for girls of all ages. These activities are designed to increase awareness of, and interest in, the creation and protection of intellectual property (IP) across disciplines, and particularly as it relates to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Read the full story.
Fatima Alkaabi (18), inventor: The world needs girls to study AI
Fatima Alkaabi (18) is an inventor wants to encourage girls and women to study AI. Around the world, girls and women are underrepresented in STEM classes and jobs, particularly in AI; indeed, more than 80% of AI professors are men and only 22% of AI professionals are women. One of these female AI professionals is Fatima, whose inventions have earned her prizes such as the Abu Dhabi Award and first place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Robot Olympics. Importantly, she does not want to be the only young female inventor getting these opportunities. As Fatima herself puts it: “We need women to create things that fit our needs as a society, and without their contributions, many of our needs might be ignored or misrepresented.”