As IP Inclusive Week gets closer, we turn our attention to Careers in Ideas. This is our outreach initiative, aimed at raising awareness of IP-related careers among school and university students and their advisers. The idea is to increase diversity among potential recruits, which in turn should help diversify the IP professions downstream.
We have some great resources on the Careers in Ideas website, but it’s a massive task spreading the word about them, and it needs a helping hand from everyone. So if you do nothing else for #ipinclusiveweek, please help us to make more people aware of the amazing career opportunities in intellectual property.
Reaching new audiences
We particularly need to target students and their careers advisers who might not otherwise have found their way here. So, whenever you do a careers talk or any other kind of outreach or recruitment activity, please signpost people to the Careers in Ideas website. And perhaps more importantly, try to visit one or two schools or universities that you wouldn’t normally have been in touch with – these are the people we most need to reach if we really want to improve diversity and inclusion in IP.
Improving social mobility
We know that many IP professionals want to improve social mobility for the next generation. If that includes you, and you need guidance as to which schools and universities to target, there are several charities already focused on social mobility. Some of these spoke at our 24 September event on social mobility in the IP sector (in2scienceUK, The Sutton Trust, The Brokerage and SEO London); others include Generating Genius, Universify Education and the Bar Council’s “I am the Bar” scheme. Why not contact one of them and find out how your organisation can help? They can ensure your contributions reach the right people.
For solicitors and law firms, signing up to the PRIME commitment will help you access the charities and schemes that most need your help.
What’s in it for you?
Outreach activities can engage staff at all levels and at the same time allow you to put something back into the community. They widen the talent pool that you and other IP professionals recruit from. And they can build up your own employees’ communication skills and confidence.
So, they can be an excellent way to mark IP Inclusive Week. You could, for example, commit to providing work experience opportunities; open days; careers talks in local schools, colleges and universities; individual mentoring and support; or training in workplace skills, personal statement writing or interview techniques. It doesn’t all have to take place during IP Inclusive Week itself, but at least the seeds can be sown.