Whilst wearing my hat as a committee member for the Women in IP group (under IP Inclusive), I was considering the number of women in the IP Profession, specifically in my own technical area of engineering.
This led to me thinking about the situation when I was at University, too many years ago to contemplate, where I was one of very few females on my Mechanical Engineering course. I was hoping that when I looked into some more recent statistics these would show the proportion of females doing engineering degrees has significantly improved, despite a gut feeling this was not really the case. This article sadly confirmed my suspicions that not much progress has been made.
https://www.engineeringuk.com/media/1691/gender-disparity-in-engineering.pd gives a more in-depth discussion of the situation, which also makes sobering reading.
As we work to improve the gender and ethnic balance within the IP Profession, in this case considering those with engineering backgrounds, it is clear that we also need to work to see what we, as individuals, can do to first improve the balance further back in the chain than actually entering the patent profession.
The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%, while Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus lead with nearly 30%.(5) 15.1% of engineering undergraduates in the UK in 2017 are women.(2) Compared with India: where over 30% of engineering students are women.(6)