Gender, Science and Innovation
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Gender, Science and Innovation

New Perspectives

Edited by Helen Lawton Smith, Colette Henry, Henry Etzkowitz and Alexandra Poulovassilis

Gender, Science and Innovation explores the contemporary challenges facing women scientists in academia and develops effective strategies to improve gender equality. Addressing an important gap in current knowledge, chapters offer a range of international perspectives from diverse contexts, countries and institutional settings. This book is an essential contribution to the literature for academics, researchers and policy makers concerned with improving gender equality in academia and seeking to learn from the experiences of others.
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Chapter 18: AUTM Women Inventors Committee: working to close the gender gap in university patenting

Kathleen Sohar, Forough Ghahramani, Jennifer Gottwald, Linda Kawano and Jennifer Shockro

Abstract

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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