Find inspiration from innovative women

Browse Journeys of Innovation articles featuring inspiring female innovators 

The USPTO seeks to inspire and encourage diversity and innovation by highlighting women innovators and chronicling their stories. Find inspiration from the journeys of these inventors and entrepreneurs—where they got their start, the challenges they faced, and what it took to bring their ideas to fruition and their brands that impact society to life. These stories also emphasize the importance of creating and protecting intellectual property, and the critical role it plays in innovation.

Browse all stories below, or search for a name or story title.

A portrait of Maria Telkes superimposed on a background of her patent drawings.
Dr. Maria Telkes
The Sun Queen’s lifelong quest to harness solar energy Full Story >
Woman in blue dress stands in front of a museum display of Gatorade inventor
Phoebe Cade Miles and Dr. James Robert Cade
Phoebe Cade Miles and her Cade Museum staff leverage Gatorade’s legacy so ‘inventivity’ opportunities flow for all Americans Full Story >
Francisco Laboy and Vanessa Carballido, co-founders of Genmoji, standing in front of a backdrop that reads “GES Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 United States | The Netherlands.”
Vanessa Carballido Clerch and Francisco Laboy Colondres
A struggle for reliable and low-cost energy in Puerto Rico Full Story >
A black and white photograph of a woman and her young son centered on the left and superimposed on top of a 1980s Liquid Paper print advertisement.
Bette Nesmith Graham
How one woman's perseverance transformed office supplies of the 20th century and propelled her into the business elite Full Story >
Bathed in sunshine, a young girl with a bowl-cut wearing a jeans jumper and socks, cozily curls up on a pillowy, pastel-floral window seat and reads to her doll from a book in her lap. Several additional books whose covers match the doll by her side are strewn about.
Pleasant Rowland
How Pleasant Rowland’s American Girl® helped tweens find their place in history Full Story >
Three fashionably dressed white women surrounding a desk, posing and admiring posters of Page Boy store fronts
The Frankfurt sisters
How the Frankfurt sisters used fashion to empower women in the workplace Full Story >
Three women with dark tan skin, brown hair, and long neutral-colored long sleeve tops smiling at a dinner table set with food, wine, and flowers.
Tanya Bryant
How Tanya Bryant started a family business after retirement Full Story >
Tara Astigarraga stands in front of the red and green cliffs of the Grand Canyon, smiling and facing the camera. She wears sunglasses on the top of her head and a gray and white tank top with an outline of the state of Oklahoma and the words “Choctaw” written in cursive.
Tara Astigarraga
Mentors and her first patent helped Tara, a member of the Choctaw Nation, realize her potential in STEM. Full Story >
Daniela Blanco, a brown-haired young Latino woman, wears a white lab coat, safety glasses, and plastic gloves as she stands amid chemistry equipment in a well stocked lab. She pauses her experiment momentarily to smile at the camera.
Daniela Blanco
A chemical engineer and entrepreneur uses artificial intelligence to help others develop greener chemicals Full Story >
With a colorful purple buzzcut, tank top, and sunglasses, scientist Natalia Bilenko smiles in the sun and heat as she works alongside others to assemble metal struts and wiring to form the sculpture “Dr.Brainlove.”
Natalia Bilenko
Natalia Bilenko’s work invites non-scientists to participate in the future direction of AI. Full Story >
In a white lab coat, Dr. Patricia Bath smiles into the camera.
Patricia Bath
How Patricia Bath, physician and inventor, made it from Harlem to the Hall of Fame Full Story >
A middle-aged woman in a silk dress sitting in a chair while examining a typewriter
Beulah Louise Henry
How Beulah Louise Henry became one of the most prolific and beloved inventors of the 20th century. Full Story >
 Gitanjali Rao presenting at a white board during the 3M competition
Gitanjali Rao
16-year old Gitanjali Rao is on a mission to create global change by building a community of young innovators. Full Story >
Debbie Sterling and two girls play with GoldieBlox on the floor.
Debbie Sterling
How Debbie Sterling challenged the status quo in the toy industry and made STEM more accessible for girls. Full Story >
Audrey Sherman poses in her stairwell with the plaques she received from 3M for her patents.
Audrey Sherman
Audrey Sherman, a leading inventor of adhesives at 3M, shows what’s possible through persistence and collaboration. Full Story >
Kavita Shukla holding sheets of FreshPaper in a carton that says “fresh for all” at a farmers market in front of a table advertising FreshPaper
Kavita Shukla
Kavita Shukla has made it her mission to eliminate food waste. Full Story >
Maude Adams wearing a tunic, skirt, sash, and beads stands at three-quarters profile, framed by trees in the background, and looks off to the right.
Maude Adams
Maude Adams, the most successful American actress of the early 20th century, invented a light bulb that helped actors everywhere shine as they never had before. Full Story >
United States postage stamp showing the trefoil badge and Juliette Gordon Low in a Girl Scout uniform.
Juliette Gordon Low
Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girls Scouts of the USA, created a lasting organization for women’s empowerment. Full Story >
Arlyne Simon stands in front of two body scan images.
Arlyne Simon
Words of wisdom from a woman in STEM on how to encourage young innovators. Full Story >
Marissa Streng holds her hands out toward her dog Mojo.
Marissa Streng
Marissa Streng, inventor of the Puff-N-Fluff dog dryer, shares her experiences as a young innovator and entrepreneur. Full Story >
Headshot of Marian Croak
Marian Croak
Marian Croak is a pioneer in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and the inventor of text-to-donate technology. Full Story >
Sangeeta Bhatia is pictured in front of a shelf filled with bottles and other lab equipment.
Sangeeta Bhatia
Inventor and entrepreneur Sangeeta Bhatia combines engineering, medicine, and biology to study, diagnose, and treat disease. Full Story >
Portrait of Hinda Miller, Polly Smith, and Lisa Lindahl.
Hinda Miller, Polly Smith, and Lisa Lindahl
Designed to decrease discomfort for female runners, the sports bra has become an athletic necessity as well as a modern fashion staple. Full Story >
Martine Rothblatt(excitedly jumping)  and the team from Tier one engineering proudly celebrating in front red Electric helicopter that, with the word lung written on it, huge smile, that just set  Guinesss World Record  being awarded plaque
Martine Rothblatt
How inventor and entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt learned to push past the idea of the impossible. Full Story >
 Jackie Quinn examines a piece of equipment on the ground with four team members working in the background
Jackie Quinn
NASA environmental engineer Jackie Quinn and her team created an emulsion system that removes contaminants from our groundwater. Full Story >
Susann Keohane and co-worker at the IBM aging in place environment/lab with the friendly looking Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant (IBM MERA), a first of a kind Watson-enabled application designed to aid the elderly and assist caregivers with real-time information about their health.
Susann Keohane
How an IBM Master Inventor found her special gift in the world. Full Story >
Image: 1950s KitchenAid illustrated advertisement of a housewife and husband excitedly admiring their new dishwasher. I the top right, dishes magically float from a hospital and industrial dishwasher into their household dishwasher.
Josephine Cochrane
How Josephine Cochrane defied social norms and invented the modern dishwasher. Full Story >
Portrait of Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin
A trip to the farm changed Temple Grandin's life forever. Full Story >
Image: Chemist Frances Arnold holds a beaker with yellow liquid up to the light.
Frances Arnold
Insights from the first American woman to win the Nobel prize in chemistry. Full Story >
Image: Irina Buhimschi and Cherry Murray speak on a panel at the US Capitol on empowering women
Irina Buhimschi and Cherry Murray
Two trailblazing innovators share insights on science, life in the lab, and beyond. Full Story >
Image: Crops being irrigated in the California Imperial Valley, circa 1919.
Harriet Strong
How one woman’s fortitude shaped agriculture and brought water to the American West. Full Story >