This isn't the sexiest part of our diversity initiative, but it's essential nonetheless. "IP Inclusive Management" is the body that oversees work done under the IP Inclusive banner. It's responsible for our bank account and for our legal and regulatory compliance. It signs off our plans and budgets and liaises with third parties on behalf of the wider IP Inclusive community.
It's a small, committee-like body and its current members (appointed at the AGM which took place on 23rd January 2018), are:
• CIPA, represented by Andrea Brewster (Chair) and Lee Davies;
• CITMA, represented by Keven Bader and Richard Goddard;
• FICPI-UK, represented by Liz Dawson (Treasurer);
• IP Federation, represented by Carol Arnold (Secretary); and
• Michael Silverleaf QC.
From now on, IP Inclusive Management will meet every month, and in the interests of transparency and accountability, we will publish the minutes of those meetings here on the IP Inclusive website. So, below you can find the minutes from the most recent meeting on 15th March 2018, together with a copy of the association's formal constitution for the record.
To get in touch with IP Inclusive Management, please email the team.
Chair, IP Inclusive Management
This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 14th to 20th May 2018 and, once again, IP Inclusive will be running events and seminars during this week. This year, MHAW is focussing on stress. Research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year, and stress is a key factor in this. By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide. The IP profession can often be stressful - long days, complex legal problems, client-based challenges, and deadline management can often take its toll on the mental health of people working in the sector, which is why IP Inclusive hope many of you will be able to participate in one of our MHAW events this year.
We currently have two events for MHAW 2018:
These events will be open to all IP professionals. That means not only fee earners but also the professionals who work with them, for example secretaries, IP administrators and paralegals, HR professionals, searchers, translators and Patent Office examiners. These are issues which affect the whole team – let’s reach out to everyone and include them in the discussion.
We'll update this blog with information about more MHAW venues and events soon. In the meantime, you can find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week here and if you’re on Twitter, by following the hashtag #MHAW18.
If you are organising your own event for Mental Health Awareness Week, please let us know and we'll add it to this blog.
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Ryan Compton, Director of Centre for Resolution, and is the next instalment in the four part series on the process of employing someone with a disability.
Ryan writes: "We hope you enjoyed our previous blog ‘Introduction to disability and employment’. So for the next instalment in the series we are taking a look at inclusive recruitment and what this may look like for employers.
Fair and accessible
In order for us to recruit people with disabilities we must make the recruitment process fair and accessible. Some employers don’t realise that before a candidate with a disability gets to the job interview stage, there are multiple barriers that they face for example job adverts being inaccessible. In some cases job adverts have excluded people with disabilities by stating such things as you must hold a valid driving licence. This isn’t completely true as somebody with a disability may have access to a vehicle and may be entitled to a driver funded by Access to Work.
There are some people with disabilities who would require the advert in a different format for example by having someone read out the information via the telephone and some people use email as an alternative method. In most adverts there are contact details listed at the bottom of the advert: is this contact person well informed about the job and are they able to provide the advert in an alternative format?
The job interview comes with multiple barriers for people with disabilities. Some people with disabilities may find it difficult to get to a job interview for a number of reasons: for example until they have secured the job with you they can’t get access to funding to enable them to get to your workplace, or they may have recognised the job advert at short notice and arranging support to enable them to attend the interview could prove difficult. Advances in technology such as Skype® or the good old telephone may prove invaluable in opening up a job opportunity to a wider field of candidates.
IP Inclusive, in association with CIPA, CITMA and our headline sponsor Dehns, invite you to the launch of Careers In Ideas on Tuesday 10th April 2018. The launch will be held at the home of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE.
Careers in Ideas is an initiative that was created for anyone considering – or who might consider – a career in the world of intellectual property, and for those who support them in their choices: careers advisers, teachers and parents.
This launch event gives everyone the opportunity to see the Careers in Ideas resources and take part in a discussion regarding the next steps to disseminate this information and help to increase diversity in IP. Careers in Ideas aims to raise awareness of all types of jobs within the IP sector, from those suitable for school-leavers to those that require further education. Therefore, we welcome all IP professionals and their colleagues - including administrators, searchers, IP managers, licensing executives as well as those in HR or practice management roles - and also professionals from the education, careers and outreach sectors to the launch event. Therefore, please share details of this event with your own contacts within the education, careers and outreach sectors, to help us widen our network and raise awareness of the IP professions.
Doors open at 5.30 pm, with welcome drinks and networking. IP Inclusive leader, Andrea Brewster, will open the event at 6 pm. Guests will have the opportunity to hear about how Careers In Ideas came about, including a presentation showcasing the Careers In Ideas website and resources. This will be followed by a panel discussion with, we hope, lots of audience participation. With the formalities out of the way by about 7.15 pm, we will enjoy a launch party with drinks and nibbles.
To register your attendance, please visit registration page here.
Careers in Ideas is a powerful, profession-wide outreach initiative which can add strength and credibility to individual organisations' recruitment efforts. We hope, therefore, that this showcase event will be of interest and value to all IP professionals.
The Institute of Business Ethics, in conjunction with Grant Thornton, have just launched their “Culture Indicators Board Briefing - understanding corporate behaviour”. One of the overwhelming messages from their research is that there needs to be proper scrutiny of behaviour at every level in an organisation.
The support which IP Inclusive are offering to help create truly respectful working environments within the IP sector, is a real step ahead of many organisations and we commend the work that you are all doing!
From our recent event on Managing Inappropriate Behaviour at Work with IP Inclusive, we have created a set of practical guidelines which we hope will be a useful starting point for discussion and action within your organisations. You can download a PPT or PDF presentation on our guidelines for managing and preventing inappropriate behaviours, as well as a list of useful resources on how to build inclusive workplaces:
On Wednesday 14th March, our IP Out group are holding an event on "The Gender Spectrum: what should firms be doing and why?". The event aims to further the understanding within the whole of the IP community of Trans* persons’ professional experiences. This will be a round-table discussion touching on, among other things, how best to create an inclusive environment where Trans* persons feel comfortable being their true selves at work, and managing client relations as well as other professionals during transitional periods.
As always, this event is open to everyone working in the IP professions. Straight allies are welcomed, and indeed encouraged, to attend. We hope that the event will be very useful for firms looking to implement or update their equality, diversity and inclusion policies, as well as prompting firms to take a more proactive approach in this area. We would particularly like to see organisations' Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer or Representatives at the event. (Every firm that has signed the IP Inclusive Charter has nominated someone within the firm as their EDI Officer.)
We are pleased to have Rachel Reese from Global Butterflies and Luke Williams from BPP University Law School joining as lead contributors to the discussion. Rachel and Luke bring personal insight and a depth of experience helping law firms become more inclusive. Please bring your own questions and thoughts, or just come along to listen and learn.
The event is kindly being hosted by Bird & Bird LLP in their London office (12 New Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1JP). Bird & Bird are one of the IP Inclusive Charter signatories. The event starts at 17:30, with the discussion to begin at 18:15, and drinks and networking to follow. Further information about the event can be found on the registration page here.
We look forward to seeing you on 14th March!
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Phillipa Holland, Principal Consultant at Fellows and Associates, and is about whether disclosing salary information during recruitment impacts diversity. Fellows and Associates is one of our Charter signatories.
Phillipa writes: "Would it help equality in the workplace if previous salary information was not discussed during the recruitment process?
The traditional and most common way of determining salary for an individual applying for a role in the UK is to have a budget, then find out what an applicant is earning, then ideally pay them a bit more (or at least the same) as what their income was previously. But is this fair? Is this sensible?
Well it can be a delicate subject for some. Discussing the details of your salary with a somewhat stranger on the understanding it will help secure your position and determine what you will earn in the future can be difficult. In some cases, being open about what you earn can aid negotiation (if, for example you earn more than the suggested budget it provides useful evidence of your market worth beyond the future employer’s current understanding of market conditions). But should this be so? Does it actually benefit the candidate, or the employer, in the long run?
There is a body of opinion that revealing candidate salary history has helped reinforce the gender pay gap. If the strategy is to set a budget and then within that budget pay candidates more than their current salary, then the strategy perpetuates the gender pay gap as men are, research indicates, typically paid more than women. (Thus, the same percentage increase on salary would mean that a woman would continue to be paid less for the same role). Statistically speaking, women tend to negotiate less and, when they do, it can be viewed negatively by employers. If organisations are not given access to salary information then the issues surrounding negotiation are significantly reduced, helping positively reinforce a woman’s earning power. There is a potential positive impact with respect to ethnic minorities as well; whilst the research in terms of pay disparity is more complicated (it’s a question of both availability of equitable opportunities as well as equal pay for equal roles), disregarding salary history may help prevent salary or hiring decisions being impacted by conscious or unconscious bias.
The IP Inclusive taskforce held its fourth annual round-table meeting on 23rd January. Following updates from the four working groups on their 2017 achievements, we set our objectives for 2018.
Key initiatives for 2018
1) Establish IP Inclusive "champions"
2) Establish an annual “IP Inclusive Week”
3) Reach out to regional supporters
4) Reach out to a wider audience of “IP professionals”
A full list of our 2018 objectives, including the specific objectives of our four workstreams, can be found in the document below. We also provide minutes of our 2018 AGM, and our new IP Inclusive poster, which we encourage you all to display in your offices so that all of your colleagues and coworkers can learn more about IP Inclusive.
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.