In the Liben competition, the « men’s world » is almost devoid of female inventors


« I was told ‘It’s an idea of ​​a good woman who thinks nothing of it’“The Female Inventors Who Have Made Their Way to the Prestigious Lépine Competition are Rarely Found, Often”Not taken seriously“And less freedom to innovate.

At the top of the podiums of the competition rewarding the best inventions on Sunday, the names of their designers are proudly displayed: Guillaume, Patrice, Aurélien … but almost no female names.

In total, of the 358 candidates competing this year, only 8 female inventors compete alone. « We have a severe shortage of women, barely 2% in the competitionCompetition Director, Barbara Dore sighs.It really is a man’s world« .

The situation did not escape from rare competitors. « There are only men around!Aurore Fekhart, 30, inventor of card sleeves, goes off to help kids and adult patients put on extra layers without hesitation who’s down.

What is the problem, according to her? « We obviously don’t take it seriously« , »Especially when looking for financing« . »There are obstacles, (…) a parental thingShe adds, emphasizing the predominance of men.Among winning jurors or among bankers« .

For Christine Garcia,The fact of being a woman in the wine world, it was hard« .Wine Aerator Inventor Confirms That Investors Have »Put a magnifier in the wheels« . »I’m told « It’s an idea of ​​a good woman who thinks nothing of it », when in fact it is based on serious research backed by professionals‘, adds the 50-year-old convinced that »It was easier for the man« .

male plunder

Historically, few women haveto pierce« In the invention explains it »delayed female education« Access to higher education is unlocked »At the end of the nineteenth century‘,” points to Nathalie Begird-Micholt, who specializes in the history of women in science, a field in which they have little education today.

Added to this is a glaring lack of models because « Women were only introduced into textbooks at the end of the 1990s« , so that science belongs above all in fiction to the masculine. In question? »Matilda effect‘, that is, the systematic underestimation of the contribution of women, whose work is often attributed to their male relatives.

At the beginning of the Lépine competition, « Even if the lady invented it, it was the master who filed the patent”, confirms Barbara Dore. Even if things change, only 16% of patents filed in France in 2017 were filed by women, according to a study by the UK Intellectual Property Office.We still receive files in the husband’s name alone when both appear on the patent!‘ adds Mrs. Dore.

« Don’t you dare women that’s a shame‘ Christine Garcia sighs.We have little self-confidence, because we don’t have credibility“It also raises difficulties in her case.”family side« Requiring »iron perseveranceIn the face of the disobedient husband.

The « genius »

« There are women who can’t believe it, because when you are limited to cooking and taking care of children, you have no time to think.‘You see Mrs. Pokhart, with an explosive blow. In the house,’He is the father who takes care of the children during the 12 days of the competition. After all, he’s also his own!« 

« Invention is a passion that we develop in our spare time‘, analyzes Pauline Arnault, of Zingénieuses, a competition that rewards young inventors from ages 7 to 12. »Men allow themselves more because their mental burden is much less« , she believes.

The main problem for him? Arouse desire, particularly through the promotion of female models. « The little girl who doesn’t see women inventing on TV won’t allow herself to do so.« , that it « vicious circle« .

Hence the idea of ​​competing with a jury made up entirely of female scientists. Instrument « Encouraging young girls to explore their innovative spirit« , »What we do very littleAnswer at the end of June about this first edition, which is likely to spark invitations.


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