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Photo: Waltraud Grubitzsch/picture alliance via Getty Image

Women account for less than 13% of all patents applicants worldwide, according to a study by the UK's Intellectual Property Office.

Why it matters: Researchers cite a lack of women working in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — for the uneven ratio.

By the numbers: The proportion of female inventors almost doubled between 1998 and 2017, from 6.8% to 12.7%, the study found.

  • The number of patent applications that name at least 1 woman on their team rose from 12% to 21% during the same period. Still, most female inventorship happens with a single woman on a male-dominated team.
  • Patent applicant teams with at least as many female inventors as males jumped from 3% to 8%.
  • At this rate, researchers don't anticipate hitting overall gender parity until at least 2070.

In the U.S., women make up about 10% of patent holders.

  • Per the study, Russia had the highest percentage — 18% — of female inventors of 10 countries analyzed, while France had 16%, Taiwan and China each had 13% and Canada came in at 10%.

Female applicants were 8.2% more likely to have patents rejected, and 2.5% less likely to appeal rejections, according to analysis by researchers at Yale University.

One level deeper: Female scientists are less than half as likely to receive a patent for their research, per a World Intellectual Property Oraganisation study, which may indicate females are less likely to consider commercializing their products and designs.

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.