WIPO Patents & Technology Head Appointed Organization's First IP & Gender Champion

October 4, 2021

WIPO Deputy Director General Lisa Jorgenson has been tapped to lead a new initiative aimed at encouraging female engagement in intellectual property and will serve as the Organization's first IP & Gender Champion, Director General Daren Tang announced.

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After a long career in the private sector, Ms. Jorgenson took up leadership of WIPO's Patents and Technology Sector in 2020, overseeing an area that includes the administration of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) - the International Patent System.

Ms. Jorgenson’s appointment as the first female Deputy Director General of the Patents and Technology Sector has sent a powerful message about our focus on inclusivity, and she has been a passionate advocate for women and closing the gender gap in IP and technology for more than 30 years. This appointment will bring further momentum to our work promoting gender equality across the global IP ecosystem,

said Mr. Tang.

Ms. Jorgenson brings to her new role more than 30 years of experience in supporting opportunities for women and addressing gender gaps in the tech and IP sectors. “As a leader, I’m deeply committed to the advancement of women in innovative and creative sectors. Working towards a more balanced and equitable IP landscape has been one of my top priorities,” said Ms. Jorgenson.

The challenge is stark: Only 16.5 percent of inventors named in international (PCT) patent applications in 2020 were women. Over the past decade, this share has increased by 3.8 percentage points. While numbers are going in the right direction, progress is slow. WIPO estimates that, at the current pace, gender parity amongst PCT-listed inventors will only be reached in 2058.

International patent applications filed via the PCT are an important benchmark for measuring innovative activity in the global economy. They also indicate the ability of inventors – companies, individuals and organizations – to benefit from the protection of their ideas. The low representation of women in international patent applications is concerning, indicating that women’s innovative potential is severely underutilized.

The IP and Gender Champion appointment will see Ms. Jorgenson lead the development and management of programs under WIPO’s IP and gender equality initiative. As part of her role, Ms. Jorgenson will also oversee the selection of a new Senior Advisor responsible for implementing WIPO’s strategic goal of promoting and encouraging female engagement in IP through various education, research and capacity building programs.

“One of our priorities in creating this role is to identify and create opportunities for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and other IP-intensive fields. We believe that WIPO is uniquely positioned to help advance these goals given its capacity to promote and encourage a gender perspective in IP legislation, policy and programs around the world,” she said.

On October 13, Jorgenson will chair a session organized by WIPO and the US-based “Invent Together” coalition on high-level policy and the IP gender gap – just one of a number of events and initiatives throughout her appointment aimed at enhancing access to the IP system for women inventors, innovators, creators and entrepreneurs.

Jorgenson will officially take up her duties as IP and Gender Champion starting in October 2021.

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