The CIPA Informals’ Committee proudly supports and is committed to the new Charter for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, which has been formulated by IP Inclusive (http://www.ipinclusive.org.uk/).
We hope that patent firms in the UK, particularly private practice firms, will sign up to the Charter and show that they are willing to recruit patent trainees from a wider, more diverse talent pool. We also hope that patent firms will sign up to the Charter to show that they are thinking about how to retain talented people in the profession, e.g. by offering flexible working hours, more part-time and working from home opportunities, and offering promotions that aren’t solely dictated by number of billable hours or hours spent in the office.
If you’re a trainee patent attorney, part-qualified or recently-qualified attorney, and have any concerns about equality or diversity in your workplace, you are welcome to contact the Informals’ Honorary Secretary in confidence. Please, do not suffer in silence.
A copy of the Charter is provided below.
(CIPA Informals’ Honorary Secretary 2014-15)
A Charter for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
By promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the Intellectual Property sector we can enable those with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to contribute fully, to fulfil their potential and to strengthen our sector. By opening up opportunities we will enhance the talent pool, and as more diverse and inclusive employers we will be better able to recruit and retain the people we need to develop and grow our organisations.
The IP Inclusive Charter for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion has been established to promote equality, diversity and inclusion within the IP sector by an association of IP organisations including:
- The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA)
- The Institute of Trademark Attorneys (ITMA)
- The IP Federation
- The UK Association of the Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI – UK)
- The UK Intellectual Property Office.
The Charter is a public commitment by signatory organisations to adhere to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of employment practice, especially recruitment and retention, career development and workplace ethos.
We will support equality, diversity and inclusion by:
1. Having in place a named individual within our organisation as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion officer. This person will be sufficiently senior to make change happen and to be accountable for our progress.
2. Having in place a written Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy for our organisation and making everybody in the organisation aware of it.
Promoting openness and transparency so as to demonstrate merit-based equal opportunities in our recruitment and career progression processes.
4. Acknowledging the effects of unconscious bias and introducing measures to tackle it.
5. Monitoring and reporting internally on our progress using measures and at intervals that are appropriate to our size and nature.
6. Sharing our experience within the IP Inclusive community to help build an effective network for equality, diversity and inclusion across the IP sector.