According to a study published in Science, biomedicals inventions created by teams composed mainly of women, tend to resolve problems that affect their gender.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía
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The mentioned study alerts on obstacles that may be limiting the participation of women in science innovation and the problems that arise from teams that are mostly integrated by men.
The biomedical patents produced exclusively by female teams are more likely to work in projects that tackle women’s health than those developed by teams with a majority of males. Researchers estimate that if there was gender parity in terms of patent inventions, an additional 6.500 products focused on women’s health would exist. This is the main conclusion from a study published by Science after reviewing and analyzing more than 400.000 biomedical patents from the USA, developed between 1976 and 2010.
The mentioned study was performed by three researchers from Harvard University, Mc Gill, and the University of Navarra. It revealed that women still represent a minority in terms of innovation. In the United States, only 35% of scientists and 13% of patent inventors are women. Additionally, there is a gender gap in careers such as sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics that plays a role when it comes to the topic of patents.
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However, as stated by the study, what worries them most is the relationship between women’s health and patents invented by this gender. If there are few woman inventors, it means that women’s health could have been left aside in terms of inventions. For instance, necessary inventions such as tests for ovarian cancer, treatments for breast cancer, and even ocular pathologies which affect mostly women, could benefit from more women innovating in science.
The results of the study also indicate that teams that are exclusively integrated by women are 35% more likely than those integrated entirely by men, to develop products related to women’s health. Also, they estimated that it is 18.5% more likely that teams integrated only by women develop inventions focused on their gender’s health. In general terms, the research seems to suggest that the gender gap in the invention of patents is accountable for the potential loss of patents that could have been developed by women since the year 1976 until today. So what are we waiting for to encourage our girls to study science, mathematics, or engineering technology? Women’s health would benefit from more females closing the gender gap in education.