IP Inclusive’s advisory board was established by IP Inclusive’s governing body IP Inclusive Management (IPIM) in September 2021. It is a non-executive body made up of individual volunteers from both inside and outside the UK’s IP professions.
The purpose of the Advisory Board is to guide and support IPIM and its executive staff in pursuing IPIM’s objects (see section 2 of the IPIM constitution). It is intended to act as a sounding board and “critical friend”, both informally and in scheduled meetings, and to introduce a range of perspectives to strengthen IP Inclusive.
According to its terms of reference, the Board and its members will, among other things:
Like IPIM, the Advisory Board’s objects are to promote and improve equality, diversity, inclusivity and wellbeing in the UK’s IP professions. It too acts for the benefit of the community of UK-based IP professionals and those they work with, and also of those wishing to join that community.
The Advisory Board’s members are appointed by IPIM, aiming for a membership of from 10 to 30 people. Membership is open to any individual, other than an IPIM member, who can contribute relevant skills, expertise and perspectives to assist IPIM. Board members do not need to be IP professionals. They can be representatives of an organisation (for example an IP sector membership body) or of an IP Inclusive community, network or working group.
The Board’s current members, appointed on its establishment, are shown in the panel above. Towards the bottom of this page you’ll find some brief information about each of them and the values and experience they bring.
Ben Buchanan is the current Chair.
Membership will usually be for a period of three years, but we hope to stagger re-appointments and recruit at least some new members every year. Keep an eye on this page for information about future vacancies and how to apply.
Here are our current Advisory Board members. There are a few more photos and bios to come, so watch this space…!
I’m a keen advocate and ally for inclusion across teams, sectors and professions with a particular interest in employee engagement, gender and race; a trained mental health first aider; and more importantly a good listener. At work I manage a small, dedicated HR team and am involved in our D&I group, wellbeing and engagement programme and mental health and wellness group. I have spent over 30 years in HR and experienced many different work cultures, leadership styles and work practices but throughout my desire to make a difference has always driven me on. Outside of work I love nature, gardening and exercise as ways to be more mindful and destress.
I have worked in both private practice and in industry and have managed both IP attorneys and IP formalities staff. I am a Trustee of a small disability charity and of the CIPA Benevolent Association.
I have a particularly strong interest in supporting E, D&I in IP sector recruitment to lead to a stronger, diverse IP community.
I’ve spent 40+ years as a Chartered/European Patent Attorney, in private practice (including my own firm) and industry, especially in the life sciences. I’m hugely in favour of and want to progress IP Inclusive’s work and people.
I arrived in the profession from a low socio-economic background, fresh from an ex-polytechnic university at a time when women – especially those with children – were very rare. Since then, I’ve also experienced being a long-term carer, and grappled with depression, close bereavement and other life changes – the latest being the approach of retirement and older age. I’ve also had training in (psychodynamic) counselling and therapy, coaching and mentoring, plus taught academic and careers skills for lawyers, all of which skills I’m happy to make available to IP Inclusive and its members.
I am passionate about the aims of IP Inclusive and have a particular interest in widening access to STEM careers and the IP professions, and have been involved in various initiatives in this regard in Shell, IP Federation and IP Inclusive. I am a member of IP Federation Council and Governance Committee and a former IPIM member on behalf of IP Federation. I am also a member of the IP Inclusive Careers in Ideas task force.
I’m proud to be an active member of IP Ability, chair of CIPA’s Professional Development Working Group, and a member of CIPA’s Educational Committee. At Kilburn & Strode, I chair their charitable fund, Innovation for All. Whether with IP Inclusive, CIPA, or at work, I am an enthusiastic promoter of D&I working to actively encourage and implement improvement.
My role at the IPO involves managing three examination teams and serving as a Tribunal Hearing Officer. I incorporate a significant amount of work on Inclusion and Diversity within this role, chairing the IPO I&D Steering Group, leading on I&D for my business area and engaging with the Government Science and Engineering Profession and IP Inclusive. I am a passionate advocate of improving I&D through collaboration and, having chaired IP Inclusive’s previous management committee in a non-executive capacity, am now the chair of the new IP Inclusive Advisory Board.
I am passionate about equality and human rights, and use my experiences as a disabled, neurodiverse, bisexual woman to raise awareness and advocate for social progress. This includes serving on the committee of IP Ability, IP Inclusive’s community for disabled people, carers and their allies. I have a keen interest in education, mentorship and social mobility.
Before joining the IP profession, I was shortlisted for a LawWorks & Attorney General award for my pro bono work. Personal interests include digital art, creative writing and gin.
I’ve been a keen supporter of IP Inclusive since its founding. I’m interested in all aspects of inclusivity and it’s been great to see the flow of ideas for new communities. Within Dentons I have worked with colleagues to increase understanding of neurodiversity. I am currently a tutor for The Access Project teaching physics.
I run an intellectual property law recruitment firm. As a consequence I’m very aware of the hiring trends in the sector and the changing attitudes and practices amongst employers and employees. I have worked in the recruitment industry since 1998 in a wide variety of sectors (predominantly professional services) and jurisdictions. Perhaps due to my sales background, which is built upon my academic background in philosophy, I tend to see multiple perspectives – the advantages and drawbacks of an argument or point of view. I’m hopeful that I can add a rigorous and sometimes contrary approach to the Advisory Board.
I am a methodical thinker and process-driven person. I have worked on business improvement technics both within a manufacturing and corporate environment, helped raise over £60K for Age UK Essex and trained diversity and inclusion to 16-18 year olds. I work in London part-time and am a mum of one. I have been in IT training over 10 years and working in the legal sector since 2018.
I’m an advocate of EDI and focus my volunteering efforts in careers outreach and mental wellbeing.
Before my role as a consultant, I trained to become a patent attorney working in private practice for several years. Combined with my experiences from IP law, I hope to bring insights from outside of the IP profession as we work collectively to tackle EDI issues.
As someone who values inclusion and diversity, I am open to learning about different cultures and identities. I like to see the best in others and I believe everyone has good qualities if you look.
In the near future, my aim is to qualify as a trade mark attorney and I would be happy to share my experience of joining the IP profession with the next generation of would-be recruits.
We in the IP community know that a career in this field can be so fulfilling and rewarding. I would like to use my position of privilege to not only help advance wider access to the professions that we represent but also to support ongoing career progression. As an immigrant, who has greatly benefitted from the education, support and opportunities afforded to me, I know life could have been very different for me. I see that there are very talented individuals from diverse communities who will need the support and encouragement to enter and progress in the IP community to ensure our industry is fit to meet future challenges.
I’m a keen supporter of diversity and inclusivity, and serve on both the IP & ME Committee and the North of England Network Committee. I head the Manchester office of Franks & Co and take a lead role in the business development and growth of the office.
At work, I am a recently-qualified patent attorney working at a small firm in the north of England. I am both a member of and champion of the LGBT+ community. I am also interested in working to increase accessibility to and awareness of the IP industry.
Entering the IP profession in 2019 was an eye-opening experience for me, and the value of the IP Inclusive communities’ work cannot be understated. Quite simply, they allowed me to feel like I belong here; not just tolerated but actively supported. At Kilburn & Strode I am a member of their Diversity Forum and a board member of their charitable fund, the Innovation For All Foundation. In my spare time I also tutor A-Level physics through the charity The Access Project. Serving on the IP Inclusive Advisory Board is an honour and a privilege.
I have a passion for promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. I did not qualify through the traditional university route and am joint qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive and Chartered Trade Mark Attorney. I am keen to ensure that those from all backgrounds are given the opportunity to practise law and there are no barriers in place to access to legal education and roles. I am a trained mental health first aider and a member of my firm’s D&I Action Group.
I have over 18 years of experience within the IP profession. I am passionate about diversity and inclusion as I believe that given the opportunity, we all have a voice and contribution to make to the IP profession and broader society. Having spent my formative years in Zimbabwe, I’ve had to overcome various challenges in my professional life and I am keen to use my experiences to help build a profession which celebrates inclusiveness and diversity not just in form but also in thought. I sit on the CITMA Council and I am a part of the CITMA Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. I am also an active member of the IP Inclusive Careers in Ideas task force, with a particular interest in mentoring upstream recruits interested in entering the IP profession.
I’m interested in issues surrounding inclusivity in the workplace, flexible working and wellbeing. I’m keen to do what I can to support efforts to improve access to the professions, and enable all to succeed. I’m a solo parent, and a co-lead of the IP Non-traditional Family Network.
I am highly committed to raising awareness, and promoting inclusion and equality for disabled professionals in particular based on my personal experiences with an invisible disability. I am also a committee member for IP Ability (the IP Inclusive community for disabled people, carers and their allies) and a keen advocate for diversity and equality across the board in the IP sector.
I am driven by fairness, equality and social justice. At work, I manage a team of people and am involved in a number of D&I affinity groups and initiatives including the Women’s Initiative for Success and Empowerment (WISE) and the Attorney Community Championing Our Racial Diversity (ACCORD). I have also worked on a significant number of pro-bono matters since joining my current firm. I am fully committed to the IP Inclusive cause and am looking forward to guiding and supporting the work of IP Inclusive Management. Out of work, I enjoy time with my family with Friday movie night and pizza becoming a bit of a quasi-tradition since the Covid-19 pandemic. I am also a keen knitter and enjoy the freedom of cycling.
I look forward to bringing my legal skills and experience to the Advisory Board of IP Inclusive. I am Vice-Chair of the Association of Asian Women Lawyers (AAWL), an organisation which seeks to promote diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. I volunteer at the University of Hertfordshire’s award-winning law clinic and am a Legal 500 recommended lawyer.
Involved in IP Inclusive since its launch, I now lead the North of England network which I set up in 2019. I am HGF’s Board sponsor for equality, diversity and inclusion, a trained mental health first aider and leader of HGF’s own internal EDI Focus Group.
I think IP Inclusive are doing excellent work in making the IP sector more accessible to everyone, and am looking forward to serving on the Advisory Board. I have been involved in Women in IP, IP Out, and IP Futures events, as well as sitting on the Midlands Network committee. In my capacity as Blog, Website, and Social Media Editor of the CIPA Informals, I regularly use my platform on the Yellow Sheet blog to promote IP Inclusive events to trainee patent attorneys, as well as organising events like the Wellbeing Coffee Club and Summer Park Meets and supporting mental health/wellbeing initiatives. I try to “join the dots” between different groups in our small and interconnected community wherever I can.
I started my career as an engineer working in R&D, and when the opportunity arose I made the move from engineering into intellectual property, first managing the IP portfolio of a small engineering consultancy and then moving to Ocado’s in-house team. I am working towards qualification as a UK and European patent attorney.
I am passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion through events to reach new audiences and encourage greater representation and access to the profession. At CITMA I curate our annual events and training programme by working closely with our network of volunteer committees, including the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group which I am a member of. Through our programme of diversity- and inclusion-themed events I hope to encourage and facilitate greater engagement in our work to enhance the profession and the organisation, inspiring a positive, healthy, and inclusive culture.
Sheila’s photo and bio will follow soon.