Katherine writes: As part of AIPLA’s ninth global Women in IP Networking Event, around 50 “women in IP” attended a reception at Carpmaels & Ransford’s office in London. To appropriately set the scene we were greeted on arrival with a prosecco or alcohol-free mojito while we got the chance to mingle.To launch the evening, we watched an AIPLA video introducing these global networking events, which are held concurrently in various geographical locations throughout the world for women involved in professions who practice IP law and/or who regularly face IP issues. Jennie Cox of Carpmaels then gave us a short talk on the support given by Carpmaels to the local community in Holborn including “Holborn Community Cooks!” (more on that below).
We were then treated to a presentation by Jacquelyn Guderley on her work with Stemettes, which she co-founded with Anne-Marie Imafidon back in 2013. Jacquelyn and Anne-Marie were inspired by meeting young girls who had enthusiasm for the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subects, but who were in danger of being discouraged due to gender stereotyping. Stemettes organise events to provide female role models to schoolgirls to demonstrate that women can STEM too! These range from Meet the Stemettes panel sessions and women only hackathons to the frankly amazing sounding residential Outbox Incubator courses that run through the summer for girls aged 11 and over. Jacquelyn also took the opportunity to put out a call for “Sherpas”: women in STEM who can provide information, contacts and work experience to schoolgirls. It was clear that Stemettes are making an important contribution in helping prevent the loss of female talent from the STEM industries that occurs when girls are made to feel that science is “not for them”, and Jacquelyn’s passion for her work shone through.After Jacquelyn’s fascinating presentation we adjourned to the cafeteria to a feast of delicious food prepared by “Holborn Community Cooks!”, which is a community social enterprise with a vision to use world food as a tool for local economic regeneration. Food was accompanied by musical entertainment by Carpmaels’ John Fisher (piano) and Matthew Birch (trumpet), while we continued informal discussions on how gendered marketing to children can stifle their ambition, employer support for flexible working, and how best to encourage more men to take advantage of shared parental leave among other less weighty topics.
Many women feel more comfortable networking with other women rather than in environments dominated by men where we sometimes struggle to get our voices heard. At this event we enjoyed an interesting and inspiring evening, and were provided with the opportunity to network with smart women from the IP professions. Many thanks to Carpmaels & Ransford for hosting (and for the fabulous goodie bags!), and to Yelena Morozova of Gill Jennings & Every for co-ordinating. I am looking forward to next year already!Katherine Ellis