On 21st November our Women in IP Community held its second annual panel discussion. The event was also a celebration of one year since the launch of the community.
The subject of this year’s panel discussion was “Climbing up the Career Ladder”, and it was graciously hosted by CMS in their shiny new building on Cannon Street. The speakers on the panel had a range of experiences with which to approach the discussion, with Catriona Hammer, IP Consultant, acting as chair and joined by three Partners (Sarah Wright of CMS, Matthew Critten of Abel and Imray, and Julia Gwilt of Appleyard Lees), one IP General Counsel (Karen Cochran of Shell), and one IP specialist recruiter (Pete Fellows of Fellows and Associates).
Over 200 people applied to attend the event, and the high attendance reflected this by way of a largely female audience with a scattering of men.
The discussion was informal and interactive, and the one and a half hours allotted to the discussion passed very quickly. Questions from the audience spanned a range of topics, but some common themes did keep cropping up in the responses, including:
- the importance of Sponsors and Mentors in helping progress careers,
- the importance of communicating to your managers what you want from your career,
- making sure your managers are aware of your professional successes, and
- the role that company culture and attitude have to play.
There was also emphasis on the importance of working with men to achieve any change in culture, so as to avoid building barriers; to seek their support in challenging biased comments and behaviour; and to allow them to also take advantage of those changes in culture as they occur.
After the panel part of the event finished everyone gathered for drinks and nibbles, to catch up with acquaintances and to make new ones, whilst enjoying CMS’s hospitality.