Last week, the ninth AIPLA Women in IP Global Networking Event was held in multiple locations around the world. IP Inclusive Charter signatory Carpmaels & Ransford hosted a reception in London as part of the global event. In the first of two articles about the event, Katherine Ellis, a UK and European Patent Attorney, writes about the event and some of the discussions she had with other women in IP.
Katherine writes: "As part of AIPLA’s ninth global Women in IP Networking Event, around 50 “women in IP” attended a reception at Carpmaels & Ransford’s office in London. To appropriately set the scene we were greeted on arrival with a prosecco or alcohol-free mojito while we got the chance to mingle.
To launch the evening, we watched an AIPLA video introducing these global networking events, which are held concurrently in various geographical locations throughout the world for women involved in professions who practice IP law and/or who regularly face IP issues. Jennie Cox of Carpmaels then gave us a short talk on the support given by Carpmaels to the local community in Holborn including “Holborn Community Cooks!” (more on that below).
In the last few weeks, the IP Inclusive Charter for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity has acquired an additional nine signatories, bringing the current number of signatories to 55. The list of signatories on the IP Inclusive website will be updated soon to include the most recent signatories: Ipentus Ltd, EIP Europe LLP, Wood IP Ltd and Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.
Thank you to all who have signed the Charter so far - with your committment and support, we can make the IP professions more supportive, diverse and inclusive.
If you're wondering whether your organisation should sign the Charter, did you know:
If you're still unsure about whether you can or should sign the Charter, get in touch.
Psychologist and business coach Jon Atkins, of Pearn Kandola LLP, teamed up with IP Inclusive this month to provide a two-part webinar on unconscious bias. It was an eye-opening and thought-provoking experience. Part I dealt with the basics: what types of bias occur and why, and the value of tackling them so as to create a more inclusive working environment. Part II illustrated real-world biases through a couple of case studies, and provided concrete suggestions for avoiding bias in our day-to-day work.
These biases aren’t typically borne of malice or stupidity. The clue’s in the name. Unconscious bias arises because our brains make sense of the world using pattern recognition, and because the patterns we recognise are based on experience and precedent and the perceived wisdom of others in our community. So, unless you’re the only person ever whose brain doesn’t process information in this way, we strongly recommend you find out more about unconscious bias, and how it impacts on you and the people you interact with.
In the meantime, here’s a more light-hearted look at the subject, by way of an excerpt from the Almost-Completely-Secret Diary of a CIPA President. Enjoy!
19 April 2016
The AIPLA Women in IP Global Networking Event is being held for the ninth year on Thursday 21st April 2016 in multiple locations around the world. The event is a meeting of women located around the globe who practice IP law, and/or who regularly face IP issues in the ordinary course of business.
Events are, so far, confirmed to take place in 55 locations in 21 countries on 21st April! The list of all the cities and hosts, including their contact information, can been found here. A number of events are taking place in the UK, organised by signatories of the IP Inclusive Charter for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity.
We're pleased that in the space of a few months, the IP Inclusive Charter for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity has acquired over 45 signatories. The signatories hail from all across the UK (from down in Somerset, to Newport in Wales, and up to Edinburgh), and from a wide variety of IP-related organisations, including patent and trade mark law firms, solicitor firms, barristers' chambers, IP media outlets, and recruitment companies.
Statistics* show that businesses with a higher degree of diversity in their workforce perform better financially, have improved retention of staff, and have a happier, more responsive workforce. Many multinational companies, particularly those headquartered in the United States, require suppliers and contractors (including outside counsel) to comply with their internal diversity policies. For such companies, if a potential (or existing) supplier does not satisfy their diversity policies, the supplier has a reduced chance of acquiring (or retaining), work from the company. So, aside from the moral and ethical reasons for improving diversity, inclusivity and equality in the IP sector, there are significant business reasons to do so too.