Diversity in intellectual property

IP-InclusiveDiversity is an important part of any workplace or profession and CITMA is committed to championing diversity within the intellectual property professions.

CITMA has jointly set up IP Inclusive, 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.

In May 2014’s ITMA Review, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Norton Rose Fulbright Sacha de Klerk pointed out that “the most successful firms can illustrate the impact of diversity initiatives with clear measures of success relating to recruitment, promotion, retention and staff engagement.”

“The value of diversity is in developing an inclusive workplace, and this means changing behaviours, not just developing tolerance and saying the ‘right’ thing,” she added.

The joint initiative, with the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the IP Federation and the UK Association of the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys has the support of Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Neville-Rolfe.

“I am delighted to see a public commitment calling for IP professions to be more inclusive. We need greater understanding about how intellectual property can enrich the lives of others - this is one way to make sure it happens,” Baroness Neville-Rolfe said.

IP Inclusive will ensure that the IP professions are accessible for all those who have the necessary aptitude whatever their background. The taskforce has set out four principles for the IP professions. These are for it to be:

  • Welcoming
  • Accessible
  • Respectful
  • Supportive

The taskforce will produce a number of resources for firms and individuals within the intellectual property professions. These will be across four key areas:

  • Awareness raising
  • Best practice
  • Diversity
  • Support

IP Inclusive was officially launched in November 2015.

The value of diversity was discussed in detail in the May 2014 edition of ITMA Review, click here to read the article.