Sector leaders commit to improving diversity

29th Jul 2021

A group of more than 60 senior representatives from IP firms have signed a new pledge to provide visible and active leadership on improving diversity and inclusion.

© iStock, Tapanakorn Katvong

CITMA’s Chief Executive is amongst the 69 signatories which includes partners of many major patent and trade mark law firms.

The leaders’ pledge, developed by IP Inclusive’s senior leaders’ think tank, will support senior professionals to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces. It includes a promise to work alongside more junior colleagues to effect positive change and increases the visibility of organisations’ diversity goals, ensuring that they are continuously worked towards.

In addition to committing to the eight points outlined below, leaders who sign the pledge also identify practical steps that they will take in their own organisation.

This allows for flexibility in different environments, making the pledge more useful and more accessible.

The intention of this pledge is to ensure that actively challenging the barriers to a diverse and inclusive industry is a constant and universal effort, not confined to corners of organisations.

Senior representatives from AA Thornton, Abel + Imray, Beck Greener, Boult Wade Tennant, D Young & Co, HGF, Kilburn & Strode, Marks & Clerk, Mathys & Squire, Mewburn Ellis, Murgitroyd, Page White and Farrer, Potter Clarkson and TLIP – click here for a full list of representatives who have signed and to read individuals’ pledges.

The full leaders’ pledge, along with the personal commitments Keven has made, can be read below:

I commit to:

1. Providing visible and proactive leadership to improve D&I in my organisation, by:

Being personally involved in, and contributing to, D&I projects and events

Putting my name to a public statement of the organisation’s commitment to D&I and of its D&I objectives, strategy and policies

2. Taking D&I seriously at the highest level, by:

Encouraging and influencing CITMA Council to continue to support resources committed to D&I work

Ensuring D&I continues as a standing agenda item at meetings of CITMA Council and a working group exists to consider D&I issues specific to the trade mark profession

3. Embedding and valuing D&I throughout the organisational culture, by:

Building a culture in which the whole of CITMA is involved in the quest for D&I

Ensuring D&I runs through the strategic and operational plans for the organisation

Encouraging and enabling staff to engage in D&I related projects and training

Including D&I related content in appropriate internal and external communications

4. Building trust and safe spaces throughout the organisation, by:

Ensuring a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination and harassment continues

Encouraging all staff, at all levels, to bring their whole selves to work and speak openly about their identities

Leading by example in sharing my own identity and experiences

5. Educating myself and my colleagues about D&I issues, by:

Ensuring CITMA continues to recognise D&I related awareness dates and encouraging everyone to learn about and mark those dates.

Encouraging staff and others to engage with events and training in the D&I sphere and engaging myself with such events.

Include in staff induction and make D&I part of staff learning and development

6. Sharing my privileges, by:

Continuing to support the excellent work of IP Inclusive and its outreach initiatives e.g. Careers in Ideas.

Encouraging staff in all roles and at all levels to get involved, and leading by example with my own involvement

7. Insisting on equity, by:

Establishing fair, diversity-enhancing recruitment and promotion procedures throughout my organisation

8. Working closely with HR and management colleagues to achieve this, by:

Involving managers in discussions and any decision making on D&I-impacting issues