8 March 2023 was International Women's Day (IWD) which looks to celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness about discrimination, and drive gender parity. This year's theme was 'Embrace Equity' which aimed to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren't enough — people start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.
Learn more about the importance of acknowledging, understanding, and valuing the difference between equity and equality here.
Our hidden differences
This year, to celebrate IWD, our Women of Mewburn Ellis Network (woMEn) hosted a coffee morning for anyone who wanted to attend. During this, an anonymous quiz was taken, and results provided, encouraging everyone to think about some of our hidden differences and how we can better embrace equity. Interestingly, some of the quiz questions had quite different results depending on gender, but for others it was much more similar.
Capitalising on women's ideas and empowering women in the IP profession
Fran Salisbury shared her thoughts on two types of women's involvement that we're particularly passionate about, as an IP firm.
Empowering the next generation of women in IP
“The proportion of women in Intellectual Property law continues to lag behind that of their male counterparts all over the world. An increase in the amount of female representation at all levels is not just desirable but essential. Despite significant advancements in gender diversity within the profession over the decades, there are still challenges that impact women IP attorneys, and this is reflected in the number of women in senior roles. Enabling and encouraging women to enter the IP profession must be an ongoing effort and it’s essential that once they do join, that we help them do great work and to stay in the profession for the long haul. International Women’s Day is vital in bringing attention to this important issue.”
Society is not capitalising on women's ideas
“In terms of female entrepreneurship, it is recognised by the patent offices that women are massively underrepresented on patent applications. The European Patent Office recently found that fewer than one in seven inventors were women. There are lots of reasons that contribute to this, but it means that as a society we’re not capitalising on women’s ideas. This is a huge missed opportunity, but by raising awareness of the inventor gender gap and highlighting the successes of women inventors and their significant contribution to society, we can start to turn the tide.”
Mewburn's commitment to inclusion & diversity
Inclusion and diversity is high on the agenda for Mewburn Ellis. It’s part of our business plan and is being driven by our management board. For us, inclusion and diversity is more than just a tick-box exercise – it is an issue that’s long been on our agenda and is becoming increasingly ingrained in our business plan and imbedded in our culture. We strive to be leaders in this area, and whilst we have made strong progress to date, there is always more that can be done.
In January 2022, Robert Andrews was appointed Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer and our I&D Collaboration Group was launched. We are also proudly partnered with the General Counsel for Diversity & Inclusion and all members of our Management Board have personally signed up to the IP Inclusive Senior Leader's Pledge. We also recently launched The Women of Mewburn Ellis Network (woMEn) which enables women across Mewburn Ellis to connect and share ideas.
Learn more on our I&D page.
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