This year, IP Inclusive Week morphed into Careers in Ideas Week. Our Careers in Ideas team planned activities and events to mark the occasion, and we encouraged all of our supporters to help raise awareness of IP-related careers with talks, open days, work experience opportunities and other outreach projects. And of course, we asked them to take our Careers in Ideas resources with them, including some new materials for 2020.
You can find more details of the Careers in Ideas Week events, and the associated “News and Features” posts, below.
In the preceding weeks, we posted additional information and resources to help people make the most of these opportunities. We included new resources (eg school lesson plans, case studies, workshop tasks and promotional images), and databases of schools and universities to help us co-ordinate the sector’s outreach efforts.
We also posted features on relevant outreach organisations, especially those who support under-represented groups such as BAME students, disabled people and women in STEM, or who focus on social mobility and access to the professions. These organisations helped us make sure that Careers in Ideas Week did the right things, in the right way, with the people who needed it most. You can access our directory of outreach organisations here, and the features at the bottom of this page.
Increasing the diversity of our intake is something the entire IP sector can help with – and all of us will benefit from. Here are some specific things that we suggested you and your team could do for Careers in Ideas Week. You can find more here from our 23 September think tank on social mobility and access. Careers in Ideas Week itself may be over, but the campaign goes on and these suggestions are just as relevant now.
Start building a relationship that can be part of your corporate fabric in the medium-to-longer term. Ask them what you can do to help and how your team members can get involved. Check out our directory of the outreach charities and community interest organisations we’ve been in contact with so far.
Organise a “taster” session, for example, or an online open day. By all means use this as part of your own recruitment drive, but please take the Careers in Ideas resources with you. And ideally, invite participants chosen by the featured charities.
The Careers in Ideas website has an “opportunities” section, where students and their advisors can read about pre-recruitment opportunities such as open days and internships. Careers in Ideas Week likely increased our site traffic, so make sure your organisation’s there to be seen. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org about listing your events.
Why not commit to something longer-lasting, for example an internship or work experience placement scheme? Again, you could work with our featured charities to ensure you offer opportunities to the people that would otherwise be less likely to find their way into the IP professions. There is so much undiscovered talent out there: now you can access it!
We’ve created some collages of IP professionals’ faces, called “The IP Crowd”, to help the sector project a more diverse image. This is an ongoing project and we hope to produce more collages in the future so as to keep refreshing our image. Can you help? We need a good mix of people: different ages, genders, ethnicities, etc and also covering a range of IP-related roles including as “business support” professionals. Feel free to include accessories, clothing, props or backgrounds that signify something important about your identity. Find out more here.
If possible, make contact with a school, college or university that you’ve not worked with before. Find places that might not otherwise have heard of IP, and whose students have not traditionally ended up in this field. Careers in Ideas has databases of schools, universities and outreach charities to help you choose where to offer help.
Listen to one of our Careers in Ideas Week webinars to inspire you: the recordings will be available on our Resources page. Use the Careers in Ideas materials in your talk, and please don’t forget to mention the vast range of careers that the IP sector can offer.
Write a blog post about your experiences doing careers talks, open days and other outreach work. What’s worked well? What have you most enjoyed? How has it benefitted your business? Help us to encourage and inspire others.
We also need people to write and/or take part in panel discussions with tips for aspiring recruits about the job application process. If you’re involved in recruitment, either in-house or as an external consultant, or if you’ve recently joined the profession, we’d love to have your input on this.
Check out our “featured charities” for ideas about how you can mentor and support individual students. As someone who’s made it into the IP professions, there’s so much you can offer in terms of insight and encouragement. Don’t underestimate how rewarding it could be to share it!
We have working groups responsible for our website and social media; for developing our resources; and for building relationships with organisations upstream of the IP professions. They all welcome additional help.
Most of the above projects would have to be run online during the Covid-19 restrictions. That doesn’t mean they can’t be done. In fact, it allows us to reach a wider audience. Be aware, though, that students in under-privileged areas may not have adequate internet access; again, ask the outreach organisations for advice on how to mitigate this problem. They will be able to provide guidance about virtual work experience, to maximise the accessibility of the opportunities you offer.
We’d love you to share what you do by way of careers outreach, so that we can celebrate it in blog posts and other social media comms. If you’re on Twitter, tag @CareersInIdeas to tell us what you’re up to.