In the USA it is now illegal to ask what an applicant’s previous salary was in a number of states and cities, including the state of California and the city of New York. At present they are in the minority but it does appear to be a growing trend.
Today our guest blogger Pete Fellows, Managing Director of Fellows and Associates and its new subsidiary Fellows Finance, considers the pros and cons of asking for salary history and what it might mean for the IP professions.
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Wynne Jones IP, which is one of our Charter signatories.
Wynne Jones writes: "Diversity isn’t necessarily the first word that would traditionally be used when discussing the intellectual property industry.
Misconceptions around IP over the years have included that it is male dominated and may lack women in positions of power, and that attorneys are chosen based on the elite educational institutions they have attended.
Of course, a chat with anyone at many firms throughout the UK will quickly dispel these myths.
Over the years specialist groups including IP Inclusive have worked tirelessly to address and improve issues surrounding diversity and inclusivity, which might have previously been associated with the profession.
And while it is clear that great strides have been made in creating a more equal IP landscape, where employees feel respected regardless of their gender, race, religion, sexuality, and cultural differences, there is still some work to be done.
A recent report from Fellows and Associates at an IP Inclusive event revealed that 43% of respondents had experienced some form of discrimination based on personal attributes including gender, age, mental health, race, and sexuality.
And when the patent application landscape in particular is analysed more closely, it is clear gender-based divisions still exist. According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) just 30.5% of the international patent applications filed included at least one women inventor.
Fiona Watkins, diversity and inclusivity officer at leading intellectual property firm Wynne Jones IP, said that while awareness around these issues across the industry has demonstrably improved, she believed more needed to be done to actually embrace and demonstrate greater diversity and inclusivity.