Gender Equality, Diversity and Intellectual Property

Human innovation and creativity are the engines of progress. Since the beginning of time, female and male innovators and creators from all walks of life have transformed our world through the power of their imagination and ingenuity. However, some groups remain severely under-represented in many areas of intellectual property (IP) use. Their innovative potential is underutilized at a time when we need the widest possible range of talents is needed to solve the pressing problems facing humanity.

WIPO is committed to promoting gender equality and diversity - in the innovative and creative sectors, across the wider world of IP and within our own Organization. We work to systematically mainstream gender equality considerations across our work program, while generating and analyzing disaggregated and gender specific data, collaborating on capacity development, and strengthening and replicating good practices.

Find out more: WIPO Policy on Gender Equality PDF, WIPO Policy on Gender Equality

(Image: Gettyimages/UnitoneVector)

"Women in Green"

In this new interview series launched by WIPO GREEN, female innovators and green entrepreneurs talk about their inventions and experiences in the eco-friendly technology and innovation field.

The challenge – Insufficient data and persisting gender gaps

Disparities exist on the use of the IP system by women and other groups. WIPO is working to bridge them. 2019 statistics reveal that less than one fifth of inventors named in international patent applications were women. It has taken 25 years for this share to almost double, from 9.5 percent in 1995 to 18.7 percent in 2019. While numbers are going in the right direction, at the current pace, parity amongst PCT-listed inventors will only be reached in 2044.

Find out more

Video: The number of women filing patent applications is steadily rising.

Initiatives at WIPO

We are working to mainstream gender equality considerations in all our activities and to increase the number of women who participate in the IP system by expanding knowledge and capacities. WIPO drives and participates in research on gender equality, diversity and IP and celebrates the ingenuity of inventors, creators and innovators from all groups.  

Geneva Gender Champions Network logo
(Image: Geneva Gender Champions Network)

Training indigenous women entrepreneurs

WIPO's new training and mentoring program aims to strengthen the capacity of women entrepreneurs from indigenous peoples and local communities to make strategic use of IP to support projects based on traditional knowledge.

Empowering women in the publishing industry

Video: Panel discussion "Empowering women in the publishing industry". This is the fifth in a series of gender-related side events organized during the WIPO Assemblies.

Animated GIF showing the growing participation of women in the WIPO Academy's training programs

Gender parity reached among WIPO Academy students

The WIPO Academy is proactive in promoting gender equality across its work. (Click to enlarge)

Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity

WIPO's 2018 World Intellectual Property Day campaign celebrated the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future.

Inspiring innovators

(Photo: Haberman Products Ltd.)

Haberman: Feeding innovation for over 35 years

Find out how a creative idea, paired with strategic use of IP, laid the foundation for a successful business opportunity for “mumpreneur”, Mandy Haberman.

(Photo: M2M)

How a good name can save lives

Trademarks and savvy branding helped this South African NGO to get closer to its goal of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDs.

(Photo: WIPO/Shingo Tsuda)

Weaving a way forward

Find out how a community of female basket weavers in Kenya comes together to form an association, brand their products and develop their livelihoods.

(Photo: Pernod-Ricard)

Smart agriculture – GPS and animal health

Imagine a GPS-based technology which monitors animals' movements to give farmers useful information about the health of their livestock. Uruguayan entrepreneur Victoria Alonsopérez developed just such a system.

Additional resources are available on WIPO's dedicated YouTube channel. Find also more case studies and WIPO Magazine articles on gender equality, diversity and inclusion.