Edited by Helen Lawton Smith, Colette Henry, Henry Etzkowitz and Alexandra Poulovassilis
Chapter 18: AUTM Women Inventors Committee: working to close the gender gap in university patenting
Although diversity has become a zeitgeist topic within technology commercialization, gender disparity in innovation was relatively overlooked until recently. One area that has gained attention is the low level of female inventor representation. In less than a tenth of all patents is a woman listed as the primary inventor. An organization that has addressed this imbalance is the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), a non-profit that supports and advances academic technology transfer globally. A small task force was formed in 2011 to conduct research and build interest. This became the AUTM Women Inventors Committee (AUTM WIC), which is now a leading voice in the gender innovation conversation and works to contribute to the ongoing policy dialogue regarding these important issues. This chapter outlines its origins and details specific initiatives and outcomes. The AUTM WIC example can offer guidance for other groups aiming to increase inclusion in innovation.
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