Despite being the leading growth of new female-owned businesses over the last 20 years, women of color – specifically Black and Hispanic women – are less likely to be granted a U.S patent than White women and men. This information comes from a new study from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research.

Overall, less than 19 percent of patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had a female inventor listed, according to the most recent data, compiled in 2015.

The report found that “despite being less likely to hold intellectual property rights than men, women-owned businesses still report actively engaging in innovative activities and generally do so at rates at least as high as men-owned business.”

“Innovation is how we come up with solutions to the most pressing challenges that are facing our society today,” said Jessica Milli, one of the report’s co-authors. Without input from all sexes and ethnic groups, some issues get overlooked and “you get solutions that only work for a small portion of the population.”


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