Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Roxna Kapadia, European Patent Attorney at Kilburn & Strode LLP, and is a report on today's joint CIPA, IP Inclusive, FICPI-UK and AIPLA Diversity in IP Breakfast Meeting. Kilburn & Strode is one of our Charter signatories.
Roxna writes: "Today CIPA alongside IP Inclusive, FICPI-UK and AIPLA hosted a panel discussion on "The Roles and Importance of Diversity Champions". Andrea Brewster, IP Inclusive Leader, chaired the panel. The panel included Harry Small, Partner at Baker McKenzie, Dr Bobby Mukherjee, Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property & Technology Law at BAE Systems plc., Raymond Farrell, senior partner and co-founder of Carter Deluca Farrell & Schmidt LLP and Maria Scungio, a partner at Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks PC.
The members of the panel spoke about the role they play within their own organisation for improving diversity. One member gave a passionate talk on their organisation not appearing neutral when it comes to LGBT rights but in being an active champion of LGBT rights by, for example, wearing LGBT symbols.
There was great discussion about unconscious bias in recruitment and promotion. Here it was discussed how we tend to recruit and promote in our own image and how to overcome this by being aware of our bias and including a more diverse group of people in the recruitment and promotion process. It was suggested that people could benefit from taking a simple free online quiz on unconscious bias (e.g. the Harvard unconscious bias tests), to make us all more aware of our own biases.
One member of the panel talked about promoting the STEM subjects in under privileged areas and spoke in earnest, about white male privilege, how he has benefited and how he tries to actively open doors to people who would not have the same opportunities.
The importance of diversity champions at the top of an organisation and the importance of supporting others was emphasised.
This was an inspirational talk and shows there is a lot of momentum both here in the UK and across the pond, to make IP a more diverse community!"
Thank you Roxna for writing this article. 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!
Join us at AIPLA's Global Networking Event!
On Thursday 19th April 2018, the Women in IP network of IP Inclusive will be participating in the AIPLA Women In IP Law Committee’s Global Networking Event in Cambridge, Manchester, London, Bristol and Glasgow. Join us, along with other cities across Europe, to catch-up with fellow IP professionals and to hear from speakers on fascinating topics around women in innovation.
The events will be held in the late afternoon and evening on Thursday 19th April. Please register early as places are limited. This page will be updated with the details of each event as we receive them.
As always, all types of IP professionals are welcome to attend the event, including paralegals, patent and trade mark administrators, patent searchers, IPO Examiners, trainees, patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys, IP solicitors and barristers.
Cambridge: AstraZeneca is delighted to be hosting the Cambridge edition of the AIPLA Women In Intellectual Property Law Global Networking Event, in conjunction with IP Inclusive. The event will begin at 17:00, and will be an excellent opportunity to catch up with fellow intellectual property professionals and hear from two fascinating speakers, Rebekah Martin, Deputy General Counsel at AstraZeneca, and Christine Martin, Investment Manager at Cambridge Enterprise. There will be a chance to network over drinks and canapés. For further details or to book a (free) place at the event, please visit the registration page. Please note, this event is open to women and men.
Manchester: Once again, Mewburn Ellis LLP’s office are hosting the event, which will feature gin sampling (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and a celebration of the conributions of women in IP and innovation in North West England. To register, or for more information, please email Sarah Brearley. Please note, this event is open to women and men.
London: Finnegan is proud to host the AIPLA Women in IP Global Networking Event and invites you to join them for cocktails and canapés, and get inspired by their guests speakers, including Mandy Haberman, a British inventor and entrepreneur. For further details or to book a (free) place at the event, please visit the registration page. Please note, this event is open to women and men.
Glasgow: Murgitroyd is hosting the event, which will feature a gin tasting and a special guest speaker Cheryl Tubach, Chief IP Counsel at J. M. Huber Corporation. The event will be taking place between 17:00 and 19:00 at Murgitroyd's office in Glasgow. To book a (free) place at the event, please visit the registration page.
Bristol: Haseltine Lake is delighted to be hosting an informal networking event for the IP community celebrating the role of women in innovation in the South West. The event will be held at Haseltine Lake’s Bristol office, from 16:30 - 19:00 and is open to everyone of every gender working within the IP Community in the South West Region. To book a (free) place at the event, please email Haseltine Lake.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our events!
The Women In IP Committee
This morning, many IP professionals attended the Diversity in IP breakfast in London, which was organised by AIPLA, CITMA, CIPA and FICPI-UK. At the event, there was much talk about the reasons why IP organisations should think seriously about diversity and inclusion - staff happiness, employee retention, job satisfaction, client wins and client retention were just of the motives mentioned by the speakers. (See our Twitter feed for more of the points made during the event).
Once you are convinced that equality, diversity and inclusion are important, you may wonder what you and your firm needs to do next. Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Victoria Barker, Associate at Kilburn & Strode LLP, and is about her and her firm's efforts to improve diversity, and in particular, gender equality, in the workplace. Kilburn & Strode are one of our Charter signatories.
Victoria writes: "The 2013 book by Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In, has undoubtedly been controversial. In the book Sheryl explores factors that may hold some women back in the workplace, mostly by looking at her own experiences. For example, she mentions creating special parking spaces for pregnant women near the front door to her employer’s building when she was faced with a long walk across the car park during her own pregnancy. The book aims to inspire women to take a more active role in developing their career, and encourages men to provide support for women so they can do this. Not all of Sheryl’s comments have been well received, with some critics calling the book little more than a manifesto for privileged white women. Nevertheless, by starting a conversation on gender issues in the workplace, the book has led to the formation of more than 32,000 “Lean In Circles” in 151 countries worldwide.
"Lean In Circles" are groups of like-minded people of both sexes coming together to discuss issues that affect (primarily) women in the workplace. Circles can be big or small, open to new members or closed, physical groups or online-only - whatever suits the members best. Some of the Circles are affiliated with an employer, others with a geographical location, and still others with a specific career path or job title.
In April, Kilburn & Strode joined the Lean In community and held our first Circle meeting.
Join us at AIPLA's Global Networking Event!
On Thursday 4th May 2017, the Women in IP network of IP Inclusive will be participating in the AIPLA Women In IP Law Committee’s Global Networking Event in Glasgow, Manchester and London. Join us, along with other cities across Europe, to catch-up with fellow IP professionals and to hear from speakers on fascinating topics around women in innovation.
The events will be held in the late afternoon and evening on Thursday 4th May, and are kindly being hosted by some of the IP Inclusive Charter signatories. Please register early as places are limited.
Glasgow: Join us for wine, nibbles and networking as we discuss plans for and progress towards the Unified Patents Court (UPC). This event is being hosted by Murgitroyd. To register, or for more information, please email Lauris Kemp. Please note, this event is for women only.
Manchester: Gather in Manchester, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and now GrapheneCity, at Mewburn Ellis LLP’s office to celebrate innovation and inclusion. Over cheeses, wine and mocktails we’ll discuss the role women play in innovation, both by celebrating notable figures from our history and by looking to the future and our role in it. To register, or for more information, please email Sarah Brearley. Please note, this event is for women only.
London: Gill Jennings & Every LLP invite you to meet at the Urban Innovation Centre, Clerkenwell for cocktails and canapés and to hear from speakers who work to encourage young women into the scientific professions and to support investment in innovative start-ups with a diverse leadership. If you would like more information, or would like to know how to register, please email Lucy Samuels. Please note, this event is open to women and men.
We look forward to seeing you there,
The Women In IP Committee
We have another #SecretDiary excerpt!
In this post, CIPA's Immediate Past President, Andrea Brewster, writes about the recent CIPA and AIPLA Diversity in IP breakfast meeting:
13 June 2016
One of the ways IP Inclusive aims to make the IP sector in the UK more diverse and inclusive is by creating support groups for 'minority' groups working in IP. So far, IP Inclusive has set-up IP Out, a networking group for LGBT people and “straight allies” working in the IP profession. The IP Inclusive Women in IP group is also in the making and should hold its first event later in the year. Some of the Women in IP events will be open to women and to men who want to help the profession become more welcoming and supportive of women. IP Inclusive decided to create these groups in response to feedback from people within the IP sector who felt that such groups would provide them a 'safe' network in which they could share advice and support. Having these networks and connections can help some people feel more included and less isolated in the profession or workplace.
However, some people may question how such support groups help to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, as the groups may appear to be exclusive rather than inclusive. Some view support groups as indicative of an underlying bias towards those in the support group. The riposte is simple: (1) if the support groups interest you, you are most welcome to ask to join the group and its events; and (2) if hiring and promotion decisions are truly merit-based, underlying biases towards any characteristic should not affect these decisions.
We hope to announce the details of IP Inclusive's first Women in IP event soon. In the meantime, here is the second of two articles about the recent AIPLA Women in IP event.
Susan Kirsch (Partner) and Jennie Cox (Senior Associate) of Carpmaels & Ransford write: "As part of the AIPLA Annual Women in IP event, Carpmaels & Ransford LLP held a drinks reception with canapes and music in London on 21st April".
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).
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.