About ChIPs


ChIPs is a nonprofit organization focused on advancing and connecting women in technology, law and policy. ChIPs seeks to accelerate innovation in these areas by increasing diversity of thought, participation and engagement. At ChIPs, members are united in the belief that diversity, of all types, is essential to innovation and to a thriving, evolving society. Membership is open to anyone who shares this mission.

Founded in 2005 by seven women chiefs of intellectual property, it has expanded beyond those roots, now with over 3,000 members and nine regional chapters in the United States and abroad. Many members are engaged at the heart of current events — as active participants in the lawmaking, policymaking, judicial, advocacy and innovation processes.

Chipsters, from left: Michelle Lee, Julie Mar-Spinola, Mallun Yen, Noreen Krall, Emily Ward, Mona Sabet and Anirma Gupta
Chipsters, from left: Michelle Lee, Julie Mar-Spinola, Mallun Yen, Noreen Krall, Emily Ward, Mona Sabet and Anirma Gupta


Historically underrepresented at senior levels of legal and other professions, women have been even more scarce in the area of patents and intellectual property, as these fields traditionally require technical as well as law degrees. Given this paucity, ChIPs (“Chiefs in Intellectual Property”) was originally founded as an informal dinner group by these seven heads of IP from major technology companies in the Silicon Valley:

How did we come up with the idea of ChIPs? Read the article that started it all.


One of our core beliefs is to ``pay it forward,`` in recognition that none of us achieves our success on our own, and those who are now in a position to give back, should both do so for others and also work to drive increased equality, diversity, and inclusion within organizations with whom we interact and society overall.


With help from our 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 specialty subgroups that:

  • Hold events designed to build relationships, inspire, and empower.
  • Provide a forum to educate and bring together individuals from different backgrounds to discuss key issues that will accelerate innovation and the progress of cutting edge legal issues, business and technology that benefit our society.
  • Motivate, train and provide opportunities to the next generation of women leaders in law, technology, and the government.
  • Seek to drive changes in organizations with whom we collaborate and society overall to be more inclusive and diverse.


Past ChIPs events have featured speakers from government, in-house and law firms, including:

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
  • FTC Chair Edith Ramirez
  • Mary Cranston (Visa, Chemours, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Boards)
  • Julie Hanna (Kiva.org; PAGE)
  • Heidi Messer (Collective[i])
  • Kara Goldin (HintWater)
  • Pattie Sellers (Fortune)
  • Louise Pentland (Paypal GC; Hitachi Board)
  • Erika Rottenberg (former SVP/GC of LinkedIn)