Sustainability  >  Diversity in Innovation: Women and Patents

Diversity in Innovation: Women and Patents

Technician interacting with computer looking at scans on a monitor in a lab setting.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office published a study on the participation of women in the U.S. patent system and found that the women inventor rate*, i.e., the share of inventors receiving U.S. patents** who are women, was only 12.1% in 2016 and 12.8% in 2019.

These statistics motivated Hologic’s Intellectual Property (IP) group to understand how our internal data compared to these national findings. Following our review of Hologic’s women inventor statistics, the team has made concerted efforts to raise awareness of this topic and encourage more patent submissions from a broad spectrum of employees, including women.

We believe that creating an inclusive culture, where all innovative employee ideas and contributions are sought after and valued, will result in significant economic benefits for Hologic.


Women inventors at Hologic1, exceeds the U.S. average.


Women’s share of patents at Hologic2, exceeds the U.S. average.

Hologic’s IP group has taken the following actions:

  • Updated our global policy for patent awards to further incentivize submissions.
  • Broadened the mission of the internal Patent Review Board.
  • Increased awareness of the invention disclosure process by organizing small group and global training sessions.
  • Organized informal training sessions to educate the technical workforce on all aspects of patent law.

As a result of these efforts, we have seen an increase in the number of invention disclosures submitted by Hologic, including an increase in submissions by female employees.

    * Inventor Rate: Number of unique women inventors among all inventors on issued Hologic patents between 2007-2019
    ** Share of Patenting: Share of women inventors among all inventors on patents issued to Hologic between 2007-2019