Women’s well-being goes by the board in mania for gender equality

Oct 6, 2019 by

by Caroline ffiske, The Conservative Woman:

THE BBC has found a new addition to the long list of non-problems we are endlessly encouraged to care about. Last week it explored why so few women are patent holders. 

Their research has uncovered the apparently outrageous fact that female inventors account for just under 13 per cent of patent applications globally. One woman for every seven men. We’ll only be able to cheer the BBC reports in 2070 which is the time it will take for us to reach gender parity in the creation of patents if we keep going at current rates.

But will we get there? And more importantly, if we actually do, should we cheer? There are reasons to believe that it would be rather bad news for women. They take us back to the reasons why there are fewer female than male patent holders in the first place.

The BBC is content to explain it thus: that ‘researchers’ attribute the gap to a lack of women working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Likewise Penny Gilbert, a partner at the intellectual property law firm Powell & Gilbert, puts it down to ‘simply a pipeline issue’, producing the time-worn argument that ‘if we want to see more women filing patents, then we need to see more women taking up STEM subjects at university and going on to careers in research’.

But what these explanations never go into is the deeper ‘why?’ Why, for example, are there fewer women taking STEM despite the encouragement they get to do so? Why should we want to see more women filing patents? To what end?

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