This webinar, kindly hosted for us by CIPA, looked at the effects of unconscious biases, assumptions and stereotypes in our profession and how we can take action against them. It introduced the IP Inclusive “toolkit” prepared on the basis of our November 2017 workshop, and explored what unconscious bias is; when and why it occurs; how it impacts on both organisations and the individuals within them; and how to overcome its detrimental effects.
Our speakers were Andrea Brewster (IP Inclusive leader), Ben Buchanan (Deputy Director, Patents, Intellectual Property Office) and John Kennedy (Head of Marketing Strategy & Client Services, Wildbore & Gibbons LLP). Among other topics, they explored how our internal assumptions about what constitutes “professional” affect our behaviour and decisions in the workplace. They also suggested simple, practical ways to start making an immediate difference.
The event was aimed at not only fee-earning IP professionals, but also anyone involved in recruitment or HR or with influence over their organisations’ EDI policies (for example practice managers, diversity champions and IP Inclusive Charter EDI officers). It provided suggestions to help listeners identify and address unconscious bias in their own organisations.