Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Ryan Compton, Director of Centre for Resolution, and is the final instalment in the four part series on the process of employing someone with a disability. (The previous three articles can be found here, here and here).
Ryan writes: "Wow we are finally here in the last part of the series. I have really enjoyed doing these blogs and hopefully you have enjoyed reading them. So far we have covered what is a disability, legislation including the Equality Act 2010, what is a reasonable adjustment, how to recruit disabled people and how we employ them.
In this blog post, we are going to look at retaining employees with disabilities and ways in which we can support them whilst in the workplace.
Internal or external support for employees with disabilities
Some organisations are already considering alternative ways to support their employees. This could be for example counselling services, whether it is in-house or signposting to external providers, generic workplace coaching or sourcing the best technology to ensure our employees are at their maximum productivity. Some organisations stop at this level of support and don’t strive to do more.
I have always wondered why?
If we need to upgrade our computers to ensure maximum performance it is not something that we would hesitate to do. However when it comes to engaging with specialists that understand the world of disability, some organisations don’t see the benefits of utilizing this type of support. More often than not it is not even something they have considered. Take two examples of specialist mediation and specialist coaching. If you have an employee who has a dispute in the workplace around their disability, then an expert with a conflict resolution and disability background would be best placed to find resolution. Similarly with specialist coaching, if organisations were to use generic workplace coaching for their disabled employees they may not get the results they wanted. By using a specialist disability coach the employee would be able to explore their limitations rather than focusing on explaining their disability.
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Andrea Brewster, IP Inclusive Leader, and is a report on the joint IP Inclusive, CIPA and LawCare webinar on mental health.
Andrea writes: "We have to take responsibility for our mental health. This possibly isn’t what you want to hear when the existing demands on your resources are already close to overwhelming, but it was a key message from our 15th May webinar on “Why looking after your mental health is so important”.
Ann Charlton, from the charity LawCare, didn’t mince her words. We are all responsible, she said, for recognising and responding to potential mental health problems – in ourselves and in the people around us – and for addressing those problems openly and without judgement. Harsh though this introduction might have seemed, it was followed by sound and above all practical advice that showed our webinar presenter to be exactly the kind of straight-talking, wise and supportive friend that we all need when things are getting on top of us; she was concerned not only with helping us, but also with teaching us to help ourselves.
The webinar was jointly organised by IP Inclusive, CIPA and LawCare. It was open to all IP professionals and attracted over 130 registered attendees, some of whom would undoubtedly have been listening in groups with other colleagues. Intended to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, for which this year’s theme is stress, it explored how stress can affect professionals in the legal sector and what we can do to make ourselves more resilient to its ill-effects.
Ann’s presentation covered several important areas, including:
We're delighted to announce that the IP Inclusive initiative has won the 2018 MemCom award for "Best equality or diversity campaign".
The award recognises the role played by professional associations in promoting equality and diversity. Judges were looking for genuine "buy in" across all levels of the association or organisation, as well as initiatives which resonate with the membership and lead the way in terms of promoting equality or diversity within the profession itself. Among others, the judging criteria included "evidence of a clear strategy/defined target audience" and "a practical and uncompromising campaign delivering lasting impact". We're extremely proud that IP Inclusive's work has been judged worthy of those standards.
We would like to thank CIPA for nominating us and everyone who's helped bring IP Inclusive to this point. We now have two awards to our name - last year we won Managing IP's Corporate Social Responsibility award - and that's a great way of raising awareness of, and confidence in, the important work that we do.
Andrea Brewster OBE
IP Inclusive leader
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Michele Fellows, Director at Fellows and Associates, and is about whether taking a career break impacts on earning potential. Fellows and Associates is one of our Charter signatories.
Michele writes: We at Fellows and Associates have just gone live with the data collection phase of our 7th annual salary survey, and I thought I would delve a little deeper into something that has been nagging at me for some time. Does taking a career break negatively impact your earning potential?
We added the question of a “career break” into our 2017 survey for the first time and it is these results which I have analysed in more detail for the purposes of today’s question.
Now it may seem like the question will have an obvious answer as how could a hiatus in employment have a positive effect? Perhaps we’re all in for a surprise. Some may also think this relates solely to females given that even in this day and age of improved workplace equality and paternity rights it is still most frequently the “fairer” sex that tends to stay at home with the child(ren) for any period of time. Whilst it does bear out that of those that took a career break 70% were women, it is by no means restricted to women alone, especially when we consider that career breaks can occur for many reasons. Unemployment, sabbaticals or other personal issues that could include mental health concerns or caring for loved ones may also require one to take time away from their career. In fact, only 45% of the career breaks were due to maternity leave.
World Day for Cultural Diversity is a UN initiative designed to raise awareness of cultural diversity and its benefits. Read more about World Day for Cultural Diversity here.
Help IP Inclusive promote diversity and inclusion in the IP professions. Join our campaign to celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity, on 21st May, by doing an activity for diversity and inclusion and show your support by sharing what you do to celebrate.
Who: Anyone who considers themselves to be part of the IP profession.
Where: Anywhere, whether in or outside the office.
What: Do something different, perhaps something you’ve never done before, to show your support for diversity and inclusion. Stuck for ideas? See our suggestions below.
How: Share photos and/or videos of your activity with @IPInclusive using #Strengthindiversity.
When: 21st May 2018.
Here are some suggestions for what you could do on 21st May:
Got more ideas? Share ideas for activities to do on World Day for Cultural Diversity with us by commenting below or on Twitter @IPInclusive.
James A. Anani-Isaac
On behalf of the IP & ME Committee
Last month, we held a launch event for Careers in Ideas, 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. In today's blog post, Chris Burnett, patent attorney and associate at A. A. Thornton (one of our Charter signatories), reflects on the launch event, and the work ahead to raise awareness of the IP professions among young people.
We would also like to thank, once again, CIPA, CITMA, A. A. Thornton and our headline sponsor Dehns for helping and supporting us to launch Careers in Ideas. Dehns, who helped organise the event and arranged the all-important catering and drinks said: "Dehns is delighted to sponsor the official launch of the ‘Careers in Ideas’ initiative. Diversity in the IP professions is central to achieving a healthy future for all associated career paths in this area. It is clear that a great deal of hard work has gone into producing an engaging and practical online resource for those interested in IP as a career option. We are proud to be able to assist the promotion and future development of ‘Careers in Ideas’ through this event”
Chris writes: "On 10th April, a crowd of over 100 IP professionals, careers experts and students gathered at the Royal Society of Medicine for the launch of “Careers in Ideas”.
For those unfortunate not to be present, Careers in Ideas is a project set up in connection with IP Inclusive which seeks to increase awareness of the many IP-related careers available, to broaden and diversify the pool of potential entrants to the world of IP. Last year, Careers in Ideas-branded careers booklet, poster, PowerPoint presentation and website were created, free for all to use, to be taken into schools and universities to introduce students to IP-related careers. Crucially, a large range of possible careers in IP are covered by the materials, from records and secretary roles, to attorneys and judges!
Host and IP Inclusive leader Andrea Brewster introduced the event, and explained the need for diversity that underpins IP Inclusive, and how many potentially great people are lost to the world of IP, since they have no awareness of IP and the possible careers available.