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Mother of Invention

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What to expect

‘I am absurdly excited for this book’ Caroline Criado Perez

Why did it take us 5,000 years to attach wheels to a suitcase?

How did bras take us to the moon?

And what would the world be like if we listened to women?

Bestselling author Katrine Marçal reveals the shocking ways our deeply ingrained ideas about gender continue to hold us back. Every day, extraordinary inventions and innovative ideas are side-lined in a world that remains subservient to men

But it doesn’t have to be this way. From the beginning of time, women have been pivotal to our society, offering ingenious solutions to some of our most vexing problems. More recently, it is women who have transformed the way we shop online, revolutionised the lives of disabled people and put the climate crisis at the top of the agenda.

Despite these successes, we still fail to find and fund the game-changing ideas that could alter the future of our planet, giving just 3% of venture capital to female founders. Instead, ingrained ideas about men and women continue to shape our economic decisions; favouring men and leading us to the same tired set of solutions.

For too long we have underestimated the consequences of sexism in our economy, and the way it holds all of us – women and men – back. Katrine Marcal’s blistering critique sets the record straight and shows how, in a time of crisis, the ingenuity and intelligence of women is that very thing that can save us.

Critics Review

  • Praise for Mother of Invention

    ‘A book with a radical agenda … Marçal wants nothing less than a revolution in the way we think about ourselves.’ The Times

    ‘A smart, witty and fascinating warning from history. I loved this book.CAROLINE CRIADO PEREZ, Bestselling Author of Invisible Women

    wry and witty … it’s high time to put the needs of all people and the planet at the heart of invention.’ KATE RAWORTH, author of Doughnut Economics

    This is an absolute must-read. Equal parts informative and infuriating.’ DR FERN RIDDELL, author of Sex: Lessons from History

    ‘From wheeled suitcases to witch trials, Katrine Marçal makes you look again at history in this funny, clever and provocative book’HELEN LEWIS, author of Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights

    ‘…Infuriating, but always thought-provoking and intriguing. A clearly-needed wake-up call to future innovators not to view the world through a narrowly gendered lens but to pay attention to the skills and lived experiences of all. ‘
    PROFESSOR GINA RIPPON – bestselling author of The Gendered Brain

    [Katrine] brilliantly proves how male-driven technology over the ages has limited full human development by neglecting a liberating female narrative and perspective.’ JAN ELIASSON, Former Deputy Secretary-General of the UN

    Mother of Invention had me nodding along in emphatic agreement. To tackle the substantial problems ahead, we cannot afford to innovate with ‘one hand tied behind our backs.’ IRISH TIMES

    ‘This second book by the author of Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? is both bracing and highly entertaining. Marcal’s contention is that while women have been coming up with ingenious inventions since the beginning of time, they are routinely sidelined in a world geared to men.’ THE BOOKSELLER

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