Diversity in IP

IP Inclusive

IP Inclusive is a diversity task force committed to making IP professions more inclusive. It aims to improve access to the intellectual property professions, regardless of disability, age, gender, sexual orientation or social, economic and cultural background.

Raising awareness of the importance of diversity to individuals and firms and encouraging firms to think more about diversity and inclusion is a big part of the role of the taskforce and the IP Inclusive initiative.

We are delighted to be involved with IP Inclusive, which is an organisation that promotes diversity and inclusion within the various IP professions. AA Thornton were among the first signatories to the IP Inclusive charter in 2016, which is part of our ongoing commitment to improving diversity and inclusion. We take an active lead in IP Inclusive, such as the project to promote careers in IP to schools and universities through the “Careers in Ideas” initiative

A few examples of our involvement with IP Inclusive include:

  • Our ongoing commitment to creating and maintain a diverse and open culture sees us undertaking regular inhouse training sessions on matters such as unconscious bias, and giving and receiving effective feedback.
  • We attended the IP Inclusive event ‘Allies, Advocates, and Supporters in IP’, which was a panel discussion about the importance of supporting each other/being advocates for each other in the workplace.
  • We held a bake sale on World Cultural Day for Diversity (whereby our staff shared foods and drinks from their cultures and varied heritages), and we celebrated Black history month by highlighting various contributions from scientists throughout history.
  • World Intellectual Property Day 2018 focused on “Women in innovation and creativity”. To celebrate it we asked seven women (both staff and clients) what motivated them to work in innovation or IP and included their stories in a feature article that you can find it here.
  • We attended the Association of British Health Tech Industries (ABHI)’s diversity and inclusion panel discussion – ‘What about the Men?’ which covered issues affecting men that need to be addressed in the workplace, e.g. mental health, health in general and working environments that are unsupportive of flexible working or caring responsibilities.
  • We have written about flexible working and parental leave from both male and female staff perspective in articles and blogs, the latest of which you can read here.
  • Several of our staff members have spoken to students at schools, colleges and universities to discuss careers in IP, including roles such as trainee attorney, records or secretarial roles. For example patent attorney Alex Bone spent the day speaking to young people at the Cambridge Careers Fair in November about pursuing a career in IP.  Patent attorney Chris Burnett gave a talk to sixth formers at Hylands School in Chelmsford, Essex about careers in IP. You can read about his day here
  • Many of us celebrated International Womens Day by attending various events in London.
  • AA Thornton celebrated IP Inclusive Week.

IP Inclusive