On June 20, 2019 inspired by the incredible views across Paris, 50 ChIPsters gathered for the ChIPs Inaugural European brainstorming event at Allen & Overy.
With representation from France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, the US and the UK, in-house counsel, policy advisors and private practice practitioners connected to share their experiences of tackling diversity issues and action measures to improve gender diversity in innovative and IP-rich industries across Europe by leveraging the power of the ChIPs Network. We were awed by our participants’ openness and willingness to share their experiences and left feeling inspired by the contagious energy to move forward and effect change.
There were a number of key themes that emerged from the event:
- The best catalyst for change is pressure from in-house counsel. The participants will replicate the recent open-letter diversity statement signed by over 100 General Counsel from industry in the USA and invite General Counsel from across Europe to sign.
- Many shared their experience of having no female role models in their early career and the desire to change that for the next generation by creating a robust, network across Europe.
- Changing the language we use — calling out colleagues who describe women as ‘bossy’ or ‘cold’ and celebrating their confidence and assertiveness.
- Making space for women’s contributions in meetings and celebrating their value with stakeholders.
- De-stigmatizing ambition and encouraging, not de-valuing, women with it.
- Identifying practical ways men can be allies in helping to support and advance women in law, tech and policy.
We’d like to give a huge thanks to Allen & Overy, our Board Member and co-founder, Noreen Krall, London Co-Chair and Committee for Strategic Growth member, Annsley Merelle Ward and Allen & Overy IP Partner and Board Member, Laetitia Benard and A&O for their incredible support, energy and sponsorship.
Noreen, Laetitia, Annsley and Amy McQuire are already busy planning the next series of events in Europe. We are very excited to announce that two similar events are being organized for Thursday, October 17, 2019 in Munich, Germany and for February/March 2020 in Rome, Italy.
ChIPs will then return to Paris on Thursday, May 28, 2020 for the first public ChIPs Annual European Summit. More details on these events are coming soon.