Interest in entrepreneurship has never been greater, yet there are still too few female entrepreneurs, which is also reflected in the number of female inventors who file patent applications. The latest figures from the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) show a significant gender gap in international patent applications. Similarly, the number of Danish women seeking an international patent has stagnated, which contrasts with the trend in many other countries. For example, Denmark lags behind countries like Sweden, Finland, and Spain. This is a discouraging trend on World IP Day, which this year focuses on women and IP.
As a society, we thrive on good ideas that create growth and jobs, so it is a regrettable trend if we cannot unleash all the talent that Denmark has
"As a society, we thrive on good ideas that create growth and jobs, so it is a regrettable trend if we cannot unleash all the talent that Denmark has," says Flemming Kønig Mejl, Head of the Patent and Trademark Office.
Furthermore, an analysis by the Danish Chamber of Commerce (in Danish) shows that only 26% of entrepreneurs in Denmark are women. Compared to OECD countries, Denmark is one of the countries with the greatest disparity between male and female entrepreneurs.
One explanation may be the lack of female role models.
"Although we certainly see women who are successful entrepreneurs, we still do not have many female entrepreneurs that others can look up to. We need more role models who show concretely that there are many ways to do business. This can help inspire more women to become entrepreneurs so that we do not risk missing out on ideas and potential that can create growth and contribute to society," says Flemming Kønig Mejl.
Entrepreneur and investor Stine Mølgaard Sørensen, co-founder of the company Radiobotics, can recognize the skewed entrepreneurship environment:
When I look around, I can see that I stand out. I work in health technology, and I am a woman. There are not many of us, but I work hard to make sure that this will not be the case in the future.
"When I look around, I can see that I stand out. I work in health technology, and I am a woman. There are not many of us, but I work hard to make sure that this will not be the case in the future. Therefore, I speak openly about my motivation to work on the development of technology that enriches our society. It is my drive: the importance and opportunity to solve problems that can ultimately inspire others to follow the same path. And here, I am happy to be a role model," she explains.
Stine Mølgaard Sørensen is active in various parts of the entrepreneurship community, where she works specifically for more diversity:
"When we know that more men than women are entrepreneurs, it is something we need to focus on and talk about so that we can move forward. If I can contribute to that, I would be happy."
Read more about World Intellectual Property Day on the WIPO website.