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.