Over 50 IP professionals met on 29 July 2020 to discuss BAME representation levels in the UK’s IP sector. This virtual round table was led by IP & ME, IP Inclusive’s community for BAME professionals and their allies. It was attended by representatives from the membership bodies AIPPI UK, CIPA, CITMA, FICPI-UK, the IP Bar Society, the IP Federation, IPLA, the Law Society’s IP Law Committee and LES B&I; the IP sector regulator IPReg; the UK Intellectual Property Office; the five IP Inclusive communities (IP & ME, IP Ability, IP Futures, IP Out and Women in IP) and its managing committee IPIM; and the outreach charities Generating Genius, Reach Society and Stemettes.
Following words of encouragement from Tim Moss CBE, Comptroller General and CEO of the UK Intellectual Property Office, delegates explored ideas for (1) increasing BAME levels on recruitment into the sector; (2) improving BAME visibility within the sector; (3) supporting BAME IP professionals; (4) tackling unconscious bias; and (5) improving our evidence base to inform future work. We will now agree some commitments to action, and will work together to turn those commitments into positive change. We intend to reconvene in twelve months to evaluate progress and if necessary redefine the objectives.
Those at the meeting also agreed the following statements of principle, by which it was felt the UK’s IP professions should stand together in support of racial and ethnic equality:
- The UK IP professions are committed to providing equal opportunities for everyone within, and at the point of entry to, the UK’s IP sector.
- We welcome people of all races and ethnicities.
- We will treat our fellow IP professionals, and the people we work with in the wider community, with respect and consideration – whatever their race and ethnicity.
- We will work together to eradicate racial and ethnic injustice, discrimination and prejudice within the UK’s IP sector.
We have since published the more detailed meeting outcomes, with suggested practical steps to build on the earlier high-level commitments: see here.
Page published on 4th August 2020
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Hi Alasdair. It's about making more BAME people aware of and attracted to IP-related careers (which we can do at least partly through our Careers in Ideas campaign); letting them know they'd be welcome here; and also ensuring that when they do apply, their applications are treated fairly.
Hi, can you explain what point 1 means please? I.e. ‘increasing BAME levels on recruitment into the sector’