Gender and Commercial Science: Women’s Patenting in the Life Sciences
Traditional research on gender differences in productivity focuses on academic scientists, and rarely investigates outcomes other than publications. We investigate gender disparities in commercial outcomes, for scientists in both the academic and industrial sectors. Using a unique combination of career history data and patenting information across a period of two decades, we present descriptive statistics and graphical trends of male and female commercialization. Empirical evidence indicates that female scientists engage in and produce less commercial work then their male counterparts, and that the degree of disparity remains constant across time. The quality and impact of women’s commercial work remains the same or better than that of men scientists, however. These results imply that a necessary focus for future work is to understand the personal, structural, and organizational reasons for the filtering process which leads to such a small proportion of female inventors. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005
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