Skip to main content

EPO new study: Fewer than 1 in 7 inventors in Europe are women

A new study released today by the European Patent Office (EPO) finds that 13.2% of inventors in Europe are women.

The study, the first of its kind to be published by the EPO, is based on the percentage of women inventors named in all patent applications to the EPO from 1978 until 2019. It highlights that while the women inventor rate in Europe has been rising in recent decades (up from only 2% in the late 1970s to 13.2% in 2019), a strong gender gap remains. The rate of women inventors is also far below the share of women among science and engineering researchers and graduates.

  • EPO data highlights gender gap in innovation with women accounting for only 13.2% of European inventors named on patent applications
  • Share of women inventors in Europe is below levels of South Korea (28.3%), China (26.8%) and the US (15%)
  • Latvia, Portugal, Croatia, Spain and Lithuania lead with highest proportion of women inventors; Germany, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Austria with lowest
  • Field of chemistry has biggest share of women inventors; universities with higher women inventor rate than private business

Read more: link in a new tab

Printable version Latest update 08.11.2022