Remote access meeting, Social, Women in IP

Informal online get-togethers
with Women in IP

Tuesday 15 February 2022
8.30 am


Our first Women in IP coffee date of 2022 will address the theme of “invisible labour” in the office, sometimes called “office housework”. This article from Forbes explains the concept, and this article from the World Economic Forum outlines some of the consequences.

“Office housework” can range from taking on minor organisational tasks (eg because “It’s easier to just do it myself”) and pouring the coffee in meetings, to taking on the burden of supporting the wellbeing of colleagues. This can be work that is not recognised, meaning it holds back career progression because others concentrate on more visible work. It can also lead to burn-out. It is thought this issue disproportionally affects women.

The coffee date will be held at 8.30 am on Tuesday 15 February 2022. We will use the following questions as the basis for discussion in small groups:

  1. Have you come across the concepts of “invisible labour” and “office housework” before? Do you think you (if a woman) engaged in this behaviour? Do you think you (if a man) engaged in this behaviour yourself or unconsciously allowed women to do it?
  2. What steps can you take (or have you taken) to minimise this behaviour in yourself or to help others?
  3. What can companies do to reduce this type of behaviour and its impact, which disproportionately falls on women?

Thanks to Marianne Privett of AA Thornton for suggesting this excellent topic for discussion. Thank you also to our volunteer hosts: Anne-Marie Conn of Abel + Imray, Catherine Coombes of Murgitroyd, Megan Jefferies of Thrings, Gail Nicol of Cameron Intellectual Property and Claire O’Brien of Mills & Reeve.

This event is being run by Isobel Barry of Carpmaels & Ransford. If you have any queries or ideas for future sessions, or would like to volunteer to host this or a future session, please contact her on



As for our September and December 2021 coffee dates, this will be held as a single online event with discussions taking place in smaller breakout rooms to give you plenty of chance to chat. If you’d be willing to facilitate one of the breakouts, please contact Isobel at the address above.



Our coffee dates are open to all UK-based IP professionals. We welcome people of all genders.



This event is free. So are all our resources. We think it’s important to keep IP Inclusive the right side of the paywall.

That said, we do need money to keep the show on the road, so if you enjoy the event please consider contributing to our 2021-22 fundraising campaign. For individual ad hoc donations, our crowdfunding page is here. Or for more information – including for corporate sponsors – visit our general fundraising page here.

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