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Closing the Gender Gap in IP: Exploring Multi-stakeholder Initiatives

July 22, 2021

On July 7, 2021, WIPO held the second of a series of sessions dedicated to women’s participation in the IP system, titled “Exploring Multi-stakeholder initiatives”.


The session looked at initiatives that bring together different actors - such as governments, private sector, universities, civil society organizations - each with different expertise and reference groups, to design and implement synergetic solutions to bridge the gender gap in IP.

The session was opened by Ms. Lisa Jorgenson, Deputy Director General of WIPO’s Patents and Technology Sector, who highlighted the important synergies that multi-stakeholder initiatives embody, which are needed to accelerate the integration of women inventors and creators in the IP system. She also stated how, based on latest figures, we are collectively missing out on a vast capital of ingenuity and creativity, which was needed to be able to respond to the global challenges that are confronting us.

The session was moderated by Her Excellency Kadra Ahmed Hassan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Djibouti to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva. Ambassador Ahmed Hasan underlined that, in order to respond to the complexity of barriers that women face in embarking in their innovation and invention journey, open discussions, partnerships and cooperation amongst different key players was paramount.

Panelists included:

Ms. Sara Callegari, Gender and Diversity Specialist, Human Resources Management Department, WIPO (Slides)
Ms. Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, CEO/Founder, Women at the Table, Geneva (Slides)
Ms. Holly Fechner, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP, Invent Together Coalition, Washington D.C (Paper)

The presentation of the panelists focused on:

  • the most recent available data on the global gender gap in IP, based on PCT applications, and some of the key initiatives that WIPO and its partners are putting in place both internally, as well as externally in cooperation with Member States, to bridge this gap;
  • the participation of the A+ Alliance in the Generation Equality Action Coalition on “Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality”, which focuses, among others, on gender equality and IP services; and
  • the development and policy successes of Invent Together, an initiative supported by different stakeholders dedicated to understanding the gender, race, and other diversity gaps in invention and patenting, and supporting public policies and private efforts to close them.

The full session is available via Webcasting.

The third session of this series will be looking at good practices in IP service delivery, design and analysis. In the framework of this session, WIPO is inviting offices, teams and practitioners to share examples of good practices implemented by them. Those interested can submit their contributions by filling and submitting the form "Contact Us: WIPO Development Agenda", by August 31, 2021.

The sharing sessions on “Closing the Gender Gap in IP” are organized in response to a decision taken by the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) at its 22nd session, and further endorsed by the WIPO General Assemblies. They are based on a proposal by Mexico, through which WIPO Member States acknowledged the importance of bridging the gender gap in intellectual property, and of increasing the participation of women in the IP ecosystems. The objective of these events is to share good practices, lessons learnt and research related to the gender gap in IP, in order to raise awareness and improve both policy and programmatic solutions to bridge it.

Coming up next

Session on “Closing the Gender Gap in Intellectual Property – Looking at Good Practices”, October 12, 2021:

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