Gender in Inventions and Innovations

  • Seppo Poutanen
  • Anne Kovalainen


The chapter first highlights the long history of how gender has become involved in the invention of the household appliances, for example washing machine. The complex relationships between household economy and market economy are here detailed, showing the presence of economy even in mundane household activities. Next, the pervasive gender inequalities in science, research and technology are put into a global focus from the perspective of patenting activities, in both academic and business contexts. Some remedies for improving women’s relatively weak position concerning the gendered nature of patenting activities are then evaluated. Need to reform educational systems from early childhood education to academy is obvious, but strong and general cultural association of STEM subjects with masculinity makes the task difficult. Lastly, widening the field to include, for example, social innovations directs attention to complex questions of research policy and gender.


Innovation Activity Gender Disparity Household Work International Patent Classification Woman Entrepreneur 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seppo Poutanen
    • 1
  • Anne Kovalainen
    • 2
  1. 1.Turku School of EconomicsUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Turku School of EconomicsUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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