This year, IP Inclusive Week has morphed into Careers in Ideas Week. Our Careers in Ideas team are planning activities and events to mark the occasion, and we’ll be encouraging 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’d like them to take our Careers in Ideas resources with them, including some new materials for 2020.
In the preceding weeks, we’ll be posting additional information and resources to help you make the most of these opportunities. We hope to include blog posts with people’s experiences of outreach work and its impact; new resources (eg lesson plans, case studies and workshop tasks); and databases of schools and universities to help us co-ordinate the sector’s outreach efforts.
We’ll also run features on relevant charities, 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 charities will help us make sure that Careers in Ideas Week does the right things, in the right way, with the people who need it most.
Please keep an eye on this page for more details…
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 you and your team could do for Careers in Ideas Week.
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.
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. If Careers in Ideas Week increases our site traffic (as we hope it will), make sure your organisation’s there to be seen. Contact email@example.com about listing your events.
Careers in Ideas Week can also be an opportunity to 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’re hoping to create a collage of IP professionals’ faces, to help the sector project a more diverse image. 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.
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.
Join one of our Careers in Ideas Week webinars to inspire you. Use the Careers in Ideas resources 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 Careers in Ideas Week projects will have to be run online. 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 charities for advice on how to mitigate this problem.
We’d love you to share what you have planned, so that we can celebrate it in blog posts and other social media comms. If you’re on Twitter, tag @CareersInIdeas and use the hashtag #CareersInIdeasWeek to tell us what you’re up to.
IP Inclusive Week 2019 ran from 11-17 November. Loads of our supporters joined in, either with IP Inclusive events or with their own in-house activities. We also launched our fifth community, IP Ability, and a new Midlands network. And we ran our first ever diversity survey, to gather some basic benchmarking data to help inform our 2020 plans and evaluate our future progress. You can read about the survey results on our “Diversity data for the IP sector” page.
The “scrapbook” entries below show some of the things that were going on. A huge thank you to everyone who took part to help promote diversity and inclusion in the IP professions.
Our first ever “IP Inclusive Week” took place from 12-18 November 2018. Its aims were to:
We called on all of our supporters to do at least one thing during IP Inclusive Week, however small, to improve D&I, and asked them to share that via our blog and other social media outlets. We were thrilled by the levels of participation in, and enthusiasm for, the new campaign.
Charter signatories around the country organised activities and events ranging from workshops, discussions and training sessions to the publication of internal fact sheets on diversity-related issues. Some launched initiatives that will continue to have an impact well into the future, such as internal D&I committees or action groups. Many organised internal social events such as tea and cake, lunches, a games session or even a wheelchair obstacle course. Others raised funds for relevant charities. A great deal of cake was eaten, much of it rainbow-coloured.
Some organisations provided us with guest blogs to mark IP Inclusive Week, or published blogs by IP Inclusive supporters. We were also invited to take part in an IP Federation Council meeting and a discussion on “Diversity as a brand value” at Hogan Lovells’ Annual Brands Seminar.
A dedicated blog page on our website posted ideas and supporting resources during the run-up to IP Inclusive Week, the resources including suggested workshop exercises on unconscious bias, kindly provided by the IPO’s Ben Buchanan; a presentation on the role of D&I champions; a resource pack for running a work experience event, compiled by Chris Burnett and colleagues at A.A. Thornton & Co; and the “Steps to Inclusion” D&I review developed for us by Focal Point Training.
During the week itself, the blog was updated several times a day with tweets and posts from participating organisations, generating a delightful “scrapbook” record of the week. Activity on our Twitter account reached (for us) record levels. We hope that the publicity the campaign generated – for everyone involved – will also have brought us new supporters. It felt like a celebration.
We intend to run IP Inclusive Week annually from now on.
Take a look at some of the entries below from our IP Inclusive Week “scrapbook”, or check out our news and features page and filter for “IP Inclusive Week 2018”.