Unique Challenges for Women Innovators - Lorraine Marchand

Talking Trends
2 min readMar 10, 2021

“There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.”

A life sciences consultant, speaker, writer, and professor — Professor Lorraine Marchand is an expert at showing entrepreneurs how to communicate the value of their innovations to investors.

Professor Marchand is bringing forth the key to innovation in her upcoming book ‘The Innovation Mindset’.

In celebration of Women’s month, professor Marchand is giving us a sneak-peak into a very special chapter in her upcoming book - Unique Challenges Faced by Women Innovators.

In this chapter of her book, Professor Marchand explores the stories behind famous and not-so-famous women innovators. She examines why women find it difficult to patent their ideas, raise funding for their innovations, and launch and maintain successful businesses. She shares interviews with women innovators in both small companies and corporations, as well as attorneys, investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

You can watch Professor Marchand or read what she has to say below.

“Different groups of people face different challenges. Women in particular, are subject to certain unique challenges when innovating. The national inventor’s hall of fame inducted its first woman in 1991.

“Gertrude Belle Elion holds 40 patents, including those related to the development of the first drugs for leukemia, septic shock, and organ rejection. In 2014 deceased Hollywood actress Heidi Lamar was inducted into the hall of fame for her invention in 1937. She created the technology that was the forerunner to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

“While these two women innovators are noteworthy, the sad reality is that only five percent of patents are held by women. Only 25 percent of top innovation firms are led by women. Women account for 20 percent of fortune 500 chief innovation officers. The numbers of women in science, technology, math, and engineering are underrepresented. Further, there is a 16 wage gender gap among professionals in these fields. Half as many women as men are likely to start their own businesses. 95 percent of women who do start their own companies, fail within a year because they can’t secure funding and other necessary support.

“Why is innovation so challenging for women? In this special chapter, I interview women and examine the challenges that women innovators face. We explore some of the things that we can do in order to increase their chances of success.”



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