IP Inclusive are running a seminar/workshop on unconscious bias on Wednesday 8th November, between 16:00 and 17:30. Mathys & Squire, one of our Charter signatories, are kindly hosting this for us at their offices in The Shard. The aim is to create a toolkit of practical measures for raising awareness of, and mitigating, the impact of inappropriate biases and assumptions. The seminar will be followed by networking and drinks.
This is a free interactive seminar exploring the effects of unconscious bias in the IP professions and ways to address it. You will learn what unconscious bias is; when and why it occurs; how it impacts on both organisations and the individuals within them; and how to take action against it.
Aimed at anyone involved in recruitment or HR, or with influence over their organisations’ equality, diversity and inclusion policies, the event will include workshop-style discussions to create a “toolkit” of practical measures that you can take back to your own organisation to raise awareness of unconscious bias and overcome its detrimental effects.
Places are limited so please book as soon as possible if you'd like to join us. To register, please visit the registration website here.
Today's blog article has been provided by Tim Gooder, an employment lawyer from Gordons LLP, who has recently provided some discrimination awareness training to one of our Charter signatories.
Tim writes: "I have discussed discrimination law with a selection of IP professionals up and down the land and one issue was raised on a few occasions – international clients.
Of course, UK employers are under a duty to ensure fairness in the workplace and prevent discrimination. This task is then made arguably more complicated for employers with international clients for whom different cultural norms and practices may apply, from countries with less stringent laws to prevent discrimination than our own.
This blog article will consider the legal position where clients seek to impose restrictions on employers in terms of which of its employees should or should not undertake work on their behalf.
By way of background, save for in certain prescribed circumstances, employers are prevented from either directly or indirectly discriminating against their employees and this is defined as follows:
So far, so straightforward.
However, the legal waters become murkier when an employer proposes to treat members of its staff less favourably at the behest of a (perhaps valuable) international client. In a situation where a client specifies that an individual or a group of employees with protected characteristics undertake or are prevented from undertaking a particular job, is the employer then liable? Can such prima facie discrimination ever be lawful?
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Hannah Fish, head of Carpmaels & Ransford's marketing and business development team. Carpmaels & Ransford are one of our Charter signatories.
Hannah writes: "On 19th September, groups of IP professionals gathered at twelve locations around the country to hear about Imposter Syndrome and the practical steps which can be taken to tackle it.
Prior to the event, the term imposter syndrome, which was coined in 1978, was not one I’d heard. However, the symptoms are all too familiar; a feeling that I was going to be found out, a lack of confidence in my own convictions and an inability to articulate and contribute my ideas, to name just a few.
Many attendees at the London event I attended, admitted to feelings of fraud in one way or another. Some could pinpoint a particular moment in their career when this happened, others found that it was manifested as gnawing doubt. But in all cases, it was comforting to discover that however these feelings appear, they are not uncommon.
After introducing the topic, Jo Maughan who presented the session, facilitated a method of tackling self-doubt known as positive anchoring, and also provided some practical tips on what can be done to support those around us who might be experiencing the symptoms of imposter syndrome.
The session provided an opportunity to share experiences and thoughts that had not necessarily been voiced and aimed to offer reassurance and practical tips to counter the feelings of imposter syndrome.
For those who were unable to attend a copy of the slides and a recording of the webinar is available here".
Thank you Hannah for writing this article. For tips on how to deal with impostor syndrome, see Mark Richardson's write-up of the event here. (Mark is a Partner at Keltie LLP).
If you would like to write a blog article for IP Inclusive, on anything diversity related, please email Emily Teesdale of Abel & Imray. Guest bloggers are always very welcome!
The 2017 IPReg Business Plan includes a project to review CPD obligations for patent and trade mark attorneys, and to benchmark them against the CPD arrangements of other legal and non-legal providers. We understand this review is planned for the latter part of 2017.
IP Inclusive have recently provided IPReg with submissions for consideration in their review. The submissions are based on input from patent and trade mark attorneys, the organisations in which they work and the membership bodies to which they belong, and reflect the views of many registered attorneys on how the current regime may impact upon diversity and inclusivity.
A copy of our submissions can be viewed here:
IP Inclusive and CIPA are running a nationwide event on impostor syndrome on Tuesday 19th September 2017. The event is taking place at TWELVE venues across the UK! You can now book your place at one of the venues - links are provided below. Places are limited, so book asap.
As always, the event is open to everyone working in the IP or the IP-related professions (e.g. paralegals, legal secretaries, attorneys, technology transfer specialists, IPO staff, in-house IP teams, trainee lawyers, solicitors, barristers, technical translators, IP journalists, etc.). Please do share the event information with all of your colleagues.
Bath (hosted by EIP): https://tinyurl.com/yc896ba7
Birmingham (hosted by Gowling WLG):http://tinyurl.com/ycq67m6x *NEW*
Cambridge (hosted by Mills & Reeve): *FULLY BOOKED*
Cardiff (hosted by Abel & Imray): https://tinyurl.com/ychbyzlf
Glasgow (hosted by Burness Paull): https://tinyurl.com/y9fxutft *LAST FEW SPACES*
Leeds (hosted by Appleyard Lees IP LLP): *FULLY BOOKED*
London Bridge (hosted by Keltie LLP): https://tinyurl.com/y8ghzvcp
London Liverpool St (hosted by Gill Jennings & Every LLP): https://tinyurl.com/ybt4eb2o
Manchester (hosted by Mewburn Ellis LLP): https://tinyurl.com/y7qz445v
Nottingham (hosted by Potter Clarkson): https://tinyurl.com/yd6pelyf
Southampton (hosted by D Young & Co): https://tinyurl.com/yd5la536
York (hosted by BRANDED!): https://tinyurl.com/ybndpekl
We look forward to welcoming you at one of the venues on 19th September.
If you cannot make it to one of the above venues, you can also listen to the webinar remotely: http://tinyurl.com/y9gcv7x4
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Julie Barrett-Major, consulting attorney at A. A. Thornton & Co., which is one of our Charter signatories.
Julie writes: "Since being asked if I would contribute to this blog, I have been wondering what to write about. Some topics were suggested to me and also perhaps my first blog should introduce myself. But, in the last few of weeks, a number of items hit the press that provoked thoughts; it seems ‘plus ça change’. I have been in the IP profession for a long time, and I was a bit out of the normal mould when I started (some would say I still am!). I was female for a start, not from Oxbridge, not from the usual ‘class’, and I’d managed to mix my Chemistry degree with a non-science subject. Congratulations to the Wellcome Foundation Ltd and Laurence Jenkins, CPA, for giving me an opportunity to have – what I still regard as – an interesting and absorbing career. Along the way, I have been a member of the Council of CIPA and various of its committees, worked in various organisations – both private practice and in-house – and also set up my own business while my children were young.
I have many stories to tell about ‘non-inclusive things’ (which I shall from now on call NITs) that either happened to me or that I came across – some of which I’ll write about in future blog posts. But the recent press reports made me think of one NIT – which is actually a pair of NITs – in particular: a young woman, who was young, single, newly-qualified and worked in private practice, telephoned me in my office and asked what she should do about the facts that: (NIT1) her firm had magazines in their reception area that she felt demeaned women; and (NIT2) she had effectively been told she would never make partner because she was likely to have children ‘fairly soon’.
I must admit my initial reaction may not have been the most helpful. Brought up as an engineer’s daughter and used to venturing into man-filled workshops that all had calendars on the walls depicting scantily-clad women, I was inclined to suggest she get the male equivalent of a ‘Calendar Girls’ item and hang it prominently in the reception area – and see what happened. We also discussed whether her firm’s partners were clairvoyant and, if so, could they save me buying a little blue testing kit, too. That was about 35 years ago. Surely a lot has changed since then?"