Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Chris Burnett, an Associate Patent Attorney at A. A. Thornton and is about the talk he recently gave to sixth formers at the Hylands School in Chelmsford, Essex about the careers available in IP. Chris is on the IP Inclusive taskforce and is working on the project to raise awareness of the IP professions among schools, universities and careers advisors. A. A. Thornton are one of our Charter signatories.
Chris writes: "The last time I stepped into a secondary school was when I was a pupil nearly 20 years ago. I instantly stepped back in time walking through the main door, and familiar sights and sounds came flooding back. Some things had of course changed - people were now holding the door open for me and calling me “sir”, blackboards were now projector screens and the computers weren’t BBC Micros… but you get the general idea.
I have been involved with IP Inclusive for a while now, and I am part of the Careers In Ideas team, who are trying to increase diversity by spreading the word about IP-based careers to those who have never heard of them. Like many others in the various IP professions I only found out about my present job through a family member who happened to know one. Clearly, in terms of increasing diversity this is no way to continue. In one strand of my work for IP Inclusive we are encouraging people to visit schools, universities and careers fairs to talk about what they do. This was me practicing what I preached.
The Careers In Ideas initiative is about inspiring people to take up a career in IP, and since many of these careers require a STEM degree, what better place to start than sixth formers taking science A-levels who are looking to apply to university?
I was invited to talk at Hylands School by my next-door neighbour, who is a science teacher there. Hylands is a medium-sized secondary comprehensive academy in Chelmsford with just over 700 pupils and several farm animals. Many of the students I spoke to had already decided to go to university to study science degrees, so I merely had to inspire them with tales of my daily grind.
Today's blog article has kindly been provided by IP Inclusive Charter signatory Beck Greener and is about their project to encourage young people to consider a career in the STEM sectors. Beck Greener have been shortlisted for an award for this project.
James Stones and Catherine Jewell of Beck Greener write: "Here at Beck Greener, we are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Heart of the City Award in this year’s Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, for our "STEM: Branching Out" project.
The aims of the project are very much in line with the good work that CIPA and IP Inclusive are doing to raise awareness of the profession among young people, and include inspiring and encouraging young people to consider a career in the STEM sectors, including the patent profession. We hope in particular to reach students from sections of the community that are currently under-represented in STEM careers generally, and the IP profession in particular, thereby improving diversity and social mobility in these sectors.
Organised by the City of London, the Lord Mayor's Dragon Awards recognise excellence in companies' Corporate Community Involvement that benefits Greater London. The Heart of the City Award in particular recognises businesses that have set up a strategic approach to community engagement for the first time in the last three years.
Launched in June last year, the Beck Greener "STEM: Branching Out" project is a new initiative within the Community aspect of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme. The project involves a variety of activities aimed at promoting careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and raising the profile of the IP profession, while also providing our staff with opportunities to develop their skills in areas such as communication, leadership, presentation, and project-management.
The IP Inclusive taskforce held its third annual round-table meeting on 7th February. Following updates from the four working groups on their 2016 achievements, we set our objectives for 2017.
Our key theme for this year will be the business case for diversity and inclusion. We will build this into our training events and outreach activities, so as to raise awareness, spark discussion and improve buy-in from decision makers in the IP professions. If you have any stories or thoughts to share on this, we’d love to hear from you: see for example our recent blog post on the topic.
During 2017 we hope to:
2016 has been an eventful year, and not always in a good way. But as it draws to a close, I find myself with only positive memories of what IP Inclusive has achieved. And it’s time to say my thank yous. Because whilst I may have been the one standing at the helm, it’s been the many other committed supporters who’ve driven the ship forward, who’ve kept a look-out for threats and opportunities, and who’ve provided the vision and the passion to keep projects on track.
And these are unpaid volunteers, note: busy professionals all. IP Inclusive is powered solely by donations – of time, expertise, hospitality and finance – from the generous individuals and organisations that support us.
So, I would like to say a massive pre-Christmas “thank you”:
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At last week's IP Inclusive party to mark a year of the Charter for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, many of the participants and audience members noted that one way to improve diversity within the IP professions is by raising awareness of the professions among the public.
Under a separate banner, Careers in Ideas, we are creating resources to raise awareness of IP-related careers and encourage recruits from a greater range of backgrounds. The resources will be targeted at school, college and university students, as well as their teachers and careers advisers. The resources we've created so far include a poster and a booklet on IP-related careers, which you can download for free below. If you are attending a careers fair, or if you plan to do some outreach into schools, universities, clubs, etc. please print copies of our poster and booklet and take them with you to hand out.
We have also prepared a presentation for teachers to incorporate into their lessons in order to introduce their pupils to the careers in ideas. We are in the process of building a dedicated website through which potential recruits and their advisers can access information and support. For example, we plan on providing helpful tips on when and how to apply for jobs within IP, how to prepare for interviews, and how to write a good cover letter and CV. Through the new website, we may be able to connect potential applicants with people within the profession who can answer specific questions about careers, interviews, training, day-to-day work, the support networks within the professions, etc.
At the moment, we need your help to help us raise awareness of the IP professions by distributing our resources to the public (e.g. to schools, universities, libraries, careers services, etc.). If you are interested in helping us, please email Chris Burnett who is coordinating the distribution task and let him know:
We look forward to hearing from you!
If you have any questions about the resources themselves or the forthcoming website, please email Parminder Lally, who is leading the "raising awareness" group within IP Inclusive.
As previously mentioned here, the IP Inclusive reception is taking place in a few weeks. Please join us to celebrate the first successful year of the IP Inclusive Charter which currently has over 80 signatories!
The event takes place on Thursday 24 November 2016, 16:00 to 17:45, at Carpmaels & Ransford's London office (One Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HA).
This is a chance to bring together our Charter signatories, along with anyone else from the IP professions who has an interest in our work. It will include:
Find out what we’ve been up to over the last year and how you can join in the fun, helping to make a massive difference to the profession you’re in.
Anyone who works in IP, or with IP professionals, is welcome. The event is free, but numbers are limited so please book your place early by emailing us your name and organisation.
We look forward to seeing you there!