Pourquoi il n’y a beaucoup de femmes inventeurs dans le monde ?

Pourquoi il n’y a beaucoup de femmes inventeurs dans le monde ?

Il est facile d’énumérer quelques-uns des nombreux articles de tous les jours inventés et brevetés par les femmes – le lave-vaisselle, les essuie-glaces, le jeu de société Monopoly, pour n’en nommer que quelques-uns – mais le monde ne tire toujours pas pleinement parti des idées novatrices des femmes, selon un rapport.
Les femmes inventeurs représentent un peu moins de 13 % des demandes de brevets dans le monde, selon une étude réalisée par l’Office de la propriété intellectuelle du Royaume-Uni, soit une femme inventeur pour sept hommes.
Et bien que la proportion des demandes de brevets augmente, au rythme actuel, elle n’atteindra pas la parité entre les sexes avant 2070.

Alors, pourquoi y a-t-il si peu de femmes dans le monde de l’invention ?

Les chercheurs attribuent cet écart à un manque de femmes travaillant dans les sciences, la technologie, l’ingénierie et les mathématiques (Stem). Selon Penny Gilbert, associée du cabinet d’avocats Powell & Gilbert, il s’agit simplement d’une problème de pipeline.
« Si nous voulons qu’un plus grand nombre de femmes déposent des brevets, il faut qu’un plus grand nombre de femmes entreprennent des études à l’université et fassent carrière dans la recherche « , dit-elle.
Actuellement, environ un quart seulement de la main-d’œuvre britannique dans les industries dans les Stem est féminine et moins de filles et de femmes étudient ces matières dans l’enseignement secondaire et universitaire, malgré les efforts déployés pour diagnostiquer et résoudre ce déséquilibre.
Les deux tiers des équipes sont encore entièrement masculines.
Les brevets sont accordés au propriétaire d’une invention, ce qui permet au créateur et aux propriétaires subséquents d’empêcher d’autres personnes d’utiliser son invention.
Pour être qualifié de brevet d’ « invention », le dépôt doit contenir une idée nouvelle et utile – qui ne serait pas évidente pour une personne compétente dans ce domaine.
Ils peuvent être déposés individuellement ou par des équipes d’inventeurs.

Malala admise à l’université d’Oxford
Bouchra Nassir Ousselat, l’une des rares Tchadiennes dans l’informatique

La disparité entre les sexes parmi les inventeurs est encore plus marquée si l’on tient compte du fait que la plupart des inventeurs de sexe féminin sont des femmes seules au sein d’une équipe à prédominance masculine.
Diagramme à barres montrant que plus des deux tiers des équipes sont entièrement masculines et que seulement 6 % des équipes sont entièrement féminines.
Plus des deux tiers de tous les brevets proviennent d’équipes entièrement masculines ou d’inventeurs individuels masculins – et seulement 6 % d’inventeurs individuels féminins.
Les équipes entièrement féminines sont quasiment inexistantes, ne représentant que 0,3 % des candidatures, selon l’introduction en bourse.
Même lorsqu’elles déposent une demande de brevet, les femmes peuvent être moins susceptibles de les recevoir, selon une étude sur les demandes de brevet américaines réalisée par des chercheurs de l’Université Yale. Ils ont constaté que les demandeurs dont le nom était manifestement féminin étaient moins susceptibles de voir leur brevet appris

Sibahle, le génie des maths

Et bien sûr, tous ceux qui participent à une invention ne sont pas crédités d’un brevet.
Dans l’ensemble, les femmes scientifiques ont deux fois moins de chances d’obtenir un brevet pour leurs recherches, selon une étude précédente de l’Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle, ce qui suggère que les femmes sont moins susceptibles que les hommes de penser à commercialiser leurs inventions.
Les biotechnologies sont les biotechnologies les plus égalitaires entre les sexes
En 1991, Ann Tsukamoto a mis au point une méthode pour isoler les cellules souches. Son innovation a mené à de grands progrès dans la compréhension des systèmes sanguins des patients atteints de cancer et pourrait mener à la découverte d’un remède contre cette maladie.
Le Dr Tsukamoto, qui mène actuellement d’autres recherches sur la croissance des cellules souches, est également le cotitulaire de plus de sept autres inventions.
Illustration de Ann Tsukamoto et la boîte de PetriCopyright de l’imageHANNAH EACHUS
La biotechnologie, c’est-à-dire l’utilisation d’organismes vivants pour fabriquer des produits utiles comme les médicaments et les aliments, est le secteur qui compte le plus grand nombre d’inventrices. Environ 53 % des brevets liés à la biotechnologie ont au moins une inventrice.
En deuxième lieu, 52 % des brevets pharmaceutiques ont au moins une inventrice.
Le génie électrique se situait au bas de la liste, avec moins d’une demande sur dix ayant au moins une femme inventeur.

Parité d’ici 2070

La proportion de femmes inventeurs a doublé au cours des 20 dernières années, selon l’IPO, passant de seulement 6,8% en 1998 à 12,7% en 2017, la dernière année pour laquelle des données complètes sont disponibles.
Graphique montrant que la proportion de femmes inventeurs est passée à 12,7%.
Au cours de la même période, la proportion de demandes désignant au moins une femme parmi les inventeurs est passée de 12% à 21%.
Mme Gilbert dit qu’il faut s’attaquer aux stéréotypes concernant les choix d’éducation et de carrière des femmes – en encourageant les femmes à choisir les domaines de Stem, en introduisant des programmes de mentorat et en célébrant les modèles féminins de rôle.
« Nous devrions applaudir le fait que certains des plus grands scientifiques et inventeurs de l’histoire ont été des femmes – de Marie Curie et Rosalind Franklin à Grace Hopper, inventrice de la programmation informatique, en passant par Stephanie Kwolek, l’inventrice du Kevlar, dit-elle.
« On devrait raconter leurs histoires. »

La Russie en tête de liste

Bien que le nombre de femmes inventeurs au Royaume-Uni, par exemple, ait augmenté, passant de 8 % en 1998 à 11 % en 2017, d’autres pays sont en bonne voie.
Avec 17% des demandes de brevets dont au moins une femme au cours des 20 dernières années, la Russie a eu la plus forte proportion d’inventrices, sur les 10 pays ayant déposé le plus de demandes de brevets, suivie de la France.
Au Japon et en Corée du Sud, moins d’une demande de brevet sur 20 comprenait une femme inventeur pendant cette même période.

Comment les données ont-elles été recueillies ?

Le sexe des inventeurs n’étant généralement pas pris en compte dans les demandes de brevet, l’OPI a déduit leur sexe à partir des prénoms des inventeurs, à partir des données de la base de données statistique mondiale des brevets (PATSTAT) de l’Office européen des brevets.
Les noms des inventeurs ont été appariés à un sexe en utilisant les données de naissance de l’Office for National Statistics du Royaume-Uni et de la US Social Security Administration, qui répertorie les noms de tous les bébés nés et le nombre d’entrées masculines et féminines, ainsi qu’en consultant les profils Facebook pour créer une liste plus large de noms et leur sexe probable.

Seuls les noms pour lesquels au moins 95 % des entrées étaient des noms masculins ou féminins ont été inclus, de sorte que les noms non sexistes tels que « Robin » ont été exclus.
Au total, 75 % des noms d’inventeurs ont été appariés à un sexe, bien que ce taux de réussite varie d’un pays à l’autre. Les listes de noms utilisées étaient biaisées en faveur des noms occidentaux, de sorte que le Royaume-Uni a le « taux de réussite » le plus élevé, tandis que les pays d’Asie de l’Est, y compris la Corée du Sud et la Chine, ont un taux inférieur.

Source : BBC

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