Yesterday’s World IP Day celebrated the women who power change in innovation and creativity. All this week we’ve been posting blogs around that theme, in particular focusing on women in the IP professions, who help to turn innovation and creativity into commercial success.
Our article by Dr Hayleigh Bosher yesterday was a call to arms, reminding us how important it is to nurture, support and above all empower women in IP. World IP Day may have come and gone for another year, but that message should stay with us. IP Inclusive will continue to work towards better gender diversity and a more inclusive working environment for everyone in IP, regardless of their gender.
Another group working hard to empower women in this field is the ChIPs (“Chiefs in Intellectual Property”) network. Today Sam Funnell, Co-Chair of the recently established London chapter of ChIPs, tells us more about the work they’re doing and how it can help the female IP professionals of the future.
Sam writes: “Over 10 years ago, ChIPs (“Chiefs in Intellectual Property”) was originally founded as an informal dinner group by seven heads of IP, who all happened to be women, from major technology companies in the Silicon Valley. I heard about the ChIPsters when I was the only in-house patent counsel at ARM, in Cambridge.
Several times I had to explain that it was Cambridge, England, and it was a long way to go for dinner. Since those early days, and with help from early supporters, the initial dinner group of seven ChIPs founders steadily expanded through word of mouth into an international organization with over 3,000 members, multiple regional chapters, committees, and speciality subgroups.
I was able to attend the first Summit, held in Washington in 2013 and I was blown away by the calibre of the event, the attendees and, frankly, the swag. When it came time to launch the first overseas chapter of ChIPS in London, I and my fellow chair Annsley Merelle Ward jumped at the chance to join in. ChIPs is dedicated to advancing women at the confluence of technology, law and policy, to both increase diversity and inclusion and accelerate the progress of innovation that benefits our society.
Last year, our inaugural event was held at the Supreme Court, and featured a picture of justice as it could be – an all-women panel in the Supreme Court. In September 2017, we held a joint event with the Federal Circuit Bar Association at the Churchill War Rooms recognizing women’s contributions in technology during the war effort. A few weeks ago, we learned how to ‘hack’ corporate websites from Amali de Alwis and we heard about the Code First : Girls 2020 Challenge, which is teaching 20,000 women how to code for free by the end of 2020. This year we have also held a number of brainstorming sessions with key leaders in government, the judiciary and industry to develop a programme of initiatives to really start effecting change. We look forward to sharing these initiatives and programs soon.
Just like our sister chapters in the US, in the coming months and years the London Chapter of ChIPs will hold events and training to:
- foster and build relationships across sectors;
- educate each other on cutting edge legal, business and technological issues;
- inspire, support, and empower all attendees to make meaningful change in their own work environments and society; and
- support and encourage the next generation of women leaders in law, technology and the government.
ChIPs London is thrilled to partner with IP Inclusive in encouraging everyone to participate in championing diversity in law, policy and innovation for the benefit of all society, for this week’s World IP Day and beyond.