#ipinclusiveweek is fast approaching: it’s from 11 to 17 November this year. So, time to get some dates in the office calendar, to make sure you bring as many of your team members together as possible to mark the event.
Your #ipinclusiveweek event could be as large or as small as you like. For example, it could be:
- an informal get-together over breakfast, lunch, tea and cake, or after-work refreshments – preferably with a D&I (diversity and inclusion)-related theme
- a training session, for example on mental wellbeing or unconscious bias
- a discussion or workshop based on some of the IP Inclusive materials – check out our Resources page for webinar and event recordings, presentations, toolkits, and even a podcast
- a talk by an inspiring external speaker
- a fund-raising activity for a relevant charity – or indeed for IP Inclusive sponsorship (we’re hoping to embark on some more Careers in Ideas outreach projects soon, so donations are always welcome)
During last year’s IP Inclusive Week, our Charter signatories did all manner of things, from circulating fact sheets on different types of diversity “allies”, to a lunch-time board games session, to a wheelchair obstacle course highlighting the challenges of moving around the workplace for disabled people. An awful lot of cake got eaten too!
Ideally, aim for some practical outcomes from your event, for example a new policy or commitment for your organisation. Alternatively, use the opportunity to launch a new initiative, such as an internal D&I committee, and to gather suggestions and feedback from your colleagues.
Do make sure everyone in the organisation can be involved. IP Inclusive is for everyone who works in or with IP: that includes for example your HR, finance and IT teams, and office and practice managers, who often have really valuable perspectives to contribute to D&I discussions, as well as IP secretaries and paralegals, information scientists and IP managers. It’s important, too, that you get engagement at a range of career levels, from new starters to senior directors.
If you’re feeling really inclusive, you could invite other IP professionals in your region, in particular sole practitioners or people in smaller firms. Depending on the topic and format, it might even be appropriate to invite clients and/or suppliers: most organisations these days will be impressed to see that you take D&I seriously.
Whether instead of or in addition to your own events, do please encourage your staff to join in with the IP Inclusive events we have planned. Our IP & ME community is running a “Festivals of Light” celebration on 7 November and our Women in IP community an 11 November event on “How to navigate a non-linear career”. We’re launching a new Midlands network at a Birmingham event on 13 November. And soon after IP Inclusive Week, we’ll be exploring the important topic of D&I data gathering, at a 5 December seminar and workshop in Gloucester. You can find details and registration links for all of these on our Events page.