In November 2019, to mark IP Inclusive Week, we conducted our first ever diversity survey. Our aim was to gather some basic benchmarking data for the IP sector as a whole, against which to measure IP Inclusive’s progress in promoting diversity and also to inform our future work.
The survey was run online using our SurveyMonkey® account. It was open for three weeks; participation was voluntary and open to all professionals working in the IP sector. Responses were collected and analysed anonymously.
The questions captured basic data on the respondents’ roles, career levels and working environments, and also on the following aspects of their diversity: age, gender, ethnicity, religion and faith, sexuality, background (in particular from educational and socio-economic perspectives), disabilities, and caring responsibilities.
You can read more about the background to the survey, and why we did it, here.
We were encouraged by the level of engagement. The survey attracted 1,085 responses, with a completion rate of 92%; these came from a range of sectors and working environments, representing a good spread of professional roles and career levels.
We cannot be sure what proportion the 1,085 respondents represent of the IP sector as a whole because it is hard to define the size of a constituency embracing so many different IP-related roles. We do however know that among CIPA and CITMA members, uptake rates were between 10 and 16% depending on the membership category.
The relative response levels for female and male IP professionals (gender balance being a criterion for which there is already some publicly available data) suggest that people from so-called “minority” groups (for example women, BAME and/or LGBT+ professionals) were more likely to have responded to the survey than their counterparts in “majority” groups; this could have distorted the results somewhat.
We believe, however, that the main value of this survey is in identifying overall trends rather than precise quantitative data; providing an approximate benchmark against which to gauge our future progress; and giving us a feel for the relative levels of different types of diversity in the IP sector.
The “bigger picture” points that we can draw out from the survey results are these:
We suggest that the survey results be used as a benchmark against which to evaluate future changes in diversity levels (not only in the IP sector as a whole but also within specific sectors and organisations); as an indication of areas in need of improvement or support; and as an incentive to strive for greater diversity throughout the IP community.
In response, we propose to:
If you’d like to look at the survey results in more detail, you can download the following SurveyMonkey® summaries here – including the “filtered” response sets explained in section 1.2 of our report. Please note that the summaries do not include free text answers.
You can also see the survey questions here.