The IP Inclusive Senior Leaders’ Pledge was introduced in July 2021 by our senior leaders’ think tank. It’s there to help senior professionals provide visible and active leadership on improving diversity and inclusion (D&I) in their organisations.
The Leaders’ Pledge consists of eight high-level commitments, shown below. Alongside each of these, a signatory commits to one or more practical steps they will take to fulfil their pledge. These steps can be tailored to suit the size, structure and resources of the individual business and how far it is already along its D&I journey. What matters most is that they are publicised, both internally and externally, to demonstrate that D&I will not be a box-ticking exercise, will not be consigned to silos within the organisation, but will be championed at the highest levels.
Unlike the main IP Inclusive EDI Charter – which the Leaders’ Pledge supplements – this is a commitment entered into by individuals not organisations. Intended for signature by managing partners, chief executives and others in senior, decision-making roles, it includes a promise to work alongside more junior colleagues to effect positive change. It can be signed by as many individuals from the leadership team as appropriate: the more the better.
1. Providing visible and proactive leadership to improve D&I in my organisation
2. Taking D&I seriously at the highest level
3. Embedding and valuing D&I throughout the organisational culture
4. Building trust and safe spaces throughout the organisation
5. Educating myself and my colleagues about D&I issues
6. Sharing my privileges
7. Insisting on equity
8. Working closely with HR and/or management colleagues to achieve this
The full pledge, with ideas for its implementation, can be downloaded here.
A supplementary pledge, relating specifically to commitment 6, has since been signed by many of the think tank members. In collaboration with our Careers in Ideas outreach campaign, its signatories have committed their organisations to certain practical measures for raising awareness of, and improving access to, the IP professions. You can read more about that initiative here.
As at its launch on 29 July 2021, there were 73 signatories to the pledge, listed in our announcement here. They included senior professionals from a range of firms represented in the “think tank” that created the pledge, as well as the Chief Executives of the patent and trade mark professionals’ representative bodies CIPA and CITMA.
The think tank consists of senior leaders from private sector IP practices, who recognise the key role they can play in improving diversity and inclusion in their particular section of the IP professions. However, the Senior Leaders’ Pledge is now more widely available, to all IP Inclusive Charter signatories.
Since launch, other individuals in leadership roles have signed up to the Senior Leaders’ Pledge. The full list is below. You can read their personal commitments by following the links in their names.
The Senior Leaders’ Pledge is open to all IP professionals in leadership roles, whether or not their organisations are IP Inclusive Charter signatories. That includes not just legal professionals but also, for instance, those in senior HR, marketing, finance and IT roles. We encourage senior leaders throughout the IP sector to consider signing up or adopting something similar to suit their own circumstances. We hope they will publicise their involvement in their individual D&I comms, both internal and external, and we will add their names to this page once we have a published version of their individual pledge.
If you’re in a leadership role and would like to sign up yourself, please get in touch with us.
The IP Inclusive senior leaders’ think tank is a joint project between IP Inclusive, CIPA and CITMA, established in November 2020. It is led by our Lead Executive Officer Andrea Brewster and Gwilym Roberts of Kilburn & Strode. You can read more about its initial meeting and its objectives here.
And a reminder that the full pledge text, with ideas for its implementation, can be downloaded here.