On 1st February, IP Inclusive ran a well-attended workshop on how to manage inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. The event, like all IP Inclusive events, was open to everyone working in the IP professions - the participants included recent entrants to the professions, attorneys, solicitors, partners in law firms, members of the UK IPO, and HR representatives.
A summary of the event has been published by Rose Hughes, Patent Assistant at Reddie & Grose LLP, on the IPKat website.
During the event, participants were asked to work in groups to identify examples of appropriate and inappropriate workplace behaviours. The photos below show some of the results of the task:
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Ryan Compton, Director of Centre for Resolution, and is about the best practices to follow when employing someone with a disability.
Ryan writes: "Hello, my name is Ryan Compton, Director of Centre for Resolution. We provide equality, diversity and inclusion services through the utilisation of training, coaching and mediation.
Disability can be a difficult topic to speak about especially when it comes to employment. Employers are often thinking what are the best practices when employing someone with a disability so in this four part series we are going to be speaking about the process of employing someone with a disability in three key areas, which are recruitment, employment and retention.
We will kick start the series with an introduction to disability and employment.
What is a disability?
There are many types of disability. Too many to name, but there are several umbrella terms to disability, which are sensory, physical, mental and learning.
Here are some examples:
Sensory – Vision and Hearing Impairment
Physical - Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes
Mental – Depression, Anxiety
Learning – Dyslexia, Dyscalculia
Just to make it even more complicated there are variants within this as some people like myself have more than one disability from multiple categories. To make it even more complicated than that, long-term health conditions are also considered as a disability.
Not all disabilities are visible; there are also many invisible disabilities for example depression or HIV.
At the end of January, IP Out held it's first social event of 2018. Darren Smyth, IP Inclusive taskforce member, IP Out Committee member, and Partner at EIP, writes about the event and encourages everyone to attend IP Out events in the future. EIP are one of our Charter signatories.
(This article first appeared on Darren's own blog: The IP Alchemist and is reproduced here with Darren's permission).
Darren writes: "I really did not think I would be writing an event report of an event that had no speakers, but actually quite a lot happened at the IP Out drinks on 30th January, and so I wanted to record a few thoughts.
It’s been less than 18 months since our first event, and we are already on our fifth. Feedback from attendees from questionnaires at our previous events continued to show support for the idea of a “social only” event, without any speakers or particular topic. So this time, for the first time, we held an event in a bar, rather than in the offices of a law firm, where all our previous events have taken place. We went for the New Bloomsbury Set, who gave us our own area and treated us very well. Since the organisation required for social drinks is much lower than for a speaker event, I am wondering whether we could make this a regular event on a fixed timetable. If we had it say every month, for example, would people want to come at that frequency?
Numbers were lower than at the more formal meetings, but we still had a decent turnout, and my impression is that a drinks event is not overall less popular, but rather that fewer people who identify as allies come if there is not a specific topic under discussion. That’s not a problem at all, but I do want to reiterate that allies are welcome at all IP Out events. I did worry that people would be deterred from attending an event where they had to buy drinks for themselves and each other rather than refreshments being kindly supplied by our host firm (and our host firms have always been very generous), but from what I saw that did not cause a problem at all.
Gratifyingly, from my rough count, about a quarter of people attending were at an IP Out event for the first time, so we are still succeeding in reaching out to new people, while remaining well-supported by our excellent committee and regular participants. I was also delighted to see that we continue to attract a wide cross-section of people from across the intellectual property law and related professions, which, as I discovered at the IP Inclusive AGM, is an aspect in which the IP Out group is really excelling. But it seems that we cannot say too often, so I am saying it again – IP Out is not only for patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys, solicitors, barristers, notaries, legal executives, members of the judiciary, trainees for those roles, and members of the judiciary. IP Out is for anyone working in IP, regardless of your role, which, in a non-exclusive list, could include secretarial, formalities, records, paralegal, searcher, journalist, translator, patent illustrator, conference organiser, HR, IT, accounts, marketing, or office services. If you are in a patent and trade mark attorney firm, an IP law firm, the IP department of an IP law firm, an in-house IP department, legal publisher, search firm, translation firm, patent illustration firm, barristers’ chambers, or similar or related organisation that I can’t think of at the moment, we would love to have you join us for any event that you wanted to attend. They are all listed on our webpage here.
Thank you again to everyone who attended our first event of 2018 and contributing to such a splendid evening."
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Chris Burnett, IP Inclusive taskforce member and Associate at A. A. Thornton & Co., and is about how his firm approached the IP Inclusive Charter in order to put together their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. A. A. Thornton & Co. are one of our Charter signatories.
Chris writes: "I was involved with IP Inclusive fairly early on, and was keen that my firm should be among the first to sign the new Charter. I was confident that the partners would agree to sign the Charter, and was pleased that they readily agreed without me having to mount my soapbox (there’s a slight, slight, element of regret about this!). However, agreeing in principle to the commitments of the Charter was one thing; acting on them and bringing them to fruition is another thing entirely.
Fortunately, I could count on our Head of People, Karen Genuardi, to help. Karen had previous experience of implementing diversity and inclusion policies. We sat down and discussed how A. A. Thornton could make each commitment of the Charter happen, and more importantly, work for the firm:
1. The first commitment was easy: “Having in place a named individual within our organisation as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion officer. This person will be sufficiently senior to make change happen and to be accountable for our progress”. Karen gamely volunteered for this role, given her experience, and is part of the senior management team. The second part of the commitment is definitely important – it would be very easy to delegate the role to anyone with enthusiasm, but a partner, CEO or head of HR is much more likely to have the clout to ensure there is firm-wide buy-in.
If you've registered to attend our workshop on “Managing inappropriate behaviour at work” on 1st February, this message is for you.
In an attempt to reduce paper wastage, we've posted the following handouts for the event below for you to download:
1. An agenda and speaker biographies; and
2. Background information about IP Inclusive.
Please feel free to bring these with you on your phone, tablet or laptop. And since you’ll then have your electronic devices to hand, we’ll be more than happy for you to live tweet during the event, tagging @IPInclusive, @KilburnStrode and/or @focalpointuk if you wish.
We look forward to seeing you there. If you have registered but are now unable to attend the workshop after all, please, please let us know beforehand so that we can offer your place to someone else and also ensure we get the room layout and catering right. You can email us with late cancellations and queries.
And if you won't be joining us on Thursday, keep an eye out for a report on our blog very soon!
Discriminatory behaviour is, unfortunately, not limited to Westminster and Hollywood. It happens in our own profession, often before our very eyes. And it can be difficult to know how to deal with this, whether as victim or observer, when you belong to such an apparently upright and genteel profession as ours.
Ahead of IP Inclusive's workshop on "Managing inappropriate behaviour at work" on 1st February, I thought it would be useful to revisit something our guest blogger Michele Fellows, of Fellows and Associates, wrote for us back in July about the results of her firm's annual salary survey.
For the first time ever, Fellows and Associates' 2017 survey included questions about workplace discrimination. It asked respondents whether they had encountered discrimination, and if so of what type, over the previous two years, whether directed at themselves or at someone else.
The results were sobering: 43% of respondents had experienced some form of discrimination, on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, parental issues, age, mental or physical health, race or place of origin, marital/civil partnership status, or religious or cultural beliefs.
So discriminatory behaviour is alive and kicking, even in the IP professions. Also worrying was that for many forms of discrimination, higher numbers reported discrimination observed against others than reported discrimination experienced themselves. This to me suggests that discrimination may be going on all around us, the victims themselves reluctant to report it, and the observers perhaps doing less to address it than they should. That makes us all culpable.
We are delighted to publish, ahead of our "AGM" on 23rd January, IP Inclusive's first annual report. The report includes our 2017 highlights, and details on what the four workstreams achieved during the year. Thank you to everyone who helped make it all happen in 2017, and to everyone who continues to support IP Inclusive and is committed to making the IP professions more diverse and inclusive!
Watch this space to see what we're planning for 2018!
The IP & ME committee invite you to their inaugural event - a post-work celebration of Chinese New Year on Monday 26th February 2018.
Baker McKenzie, one of the IP Inclusive Charter signatories, are kindly supporting IP & ME and hosting the event at their London office.
The event will be informal, with a focus on having fun! There will be some short, educational talks from guest speakers on the traditions/cultural significance of Chinese New Year, as well as tips on business/cultural awareness. Following that, there will be refreshments/drinks and a chance to network.
Further details about the event, and how to register, will follow soon. For now, please save the date and we hope you will be able to come along and support the first IP & ME event.
EDIT 12-01-2018: You can now see more information about the event and book your spot here!
Struggling to convince your colleagues about the importance of diversity and inclusivity (D&I)? Perhaps our latest IP Inclusive presentation will help.
Based on the outcomes from our workshop held last November, our presentation is a collection of arguments and evidence in support of committing business resources to D&I, and the resultant benefits.
We've divided the key points into four categories. Specifically, we focus on the impact that D&I can have on an organisation's:
Not surprisingly, the positive effects in these four areas will ultimately translate into greater financial health for the organisation.
You can download the presentation, either as Powerpoint slides or as a PDF, here:
These resources are free for use by IP Inclusive supporters. Please share them as widely as you can: the more people we can convince the better!
Huge thanks to the workshop attendees and tutors, in particular to the IPO's Ben Buchanan for his help in putting the presentation together.
IP Inclusive Leader
Earlier this year, we posted an article about Kilburn & Strode's efforts to improve diversity, and in paticular, gender equality, in the workplace. Specifically, Kilburn & Strode joined the Lean In community in April 2017. Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Victoria Coleman, Technical Assistant at Kilburn & Strode LLP, and is an update on the Lean In activities that have been taking place at her firm. Kilburn & Strode are one of our Charter signatories.
Victoria writes:"At our firm, we are committed to progressing diversity initiatives. Why? Because we want to encourage innovation through diversity of ideas – and to create productive and varied teams of people working together for common cause. One way we can all get involved in our diversity initiatives is our Lean In Circle and we have been very busy over the past few months. Here is an update of what we have been up to.