Role models are important and we must shout about our achievements, says Tania Clark, president of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.
Did you face any challenges or barriers when you started your career?
When I was involved in patent litigation I would be tasked by my then supervising partner to contact the patent attorney involved to gain a better understanding of the invention. I would make these telephone calls with some trepidation since, without a science background, I felt at a distinct disadvantage.
What did you understand about IP before you joined the industry?
I learned about copyright through my mother who had a successful career in the music industry. Also I studied IP at postgraduate level at the London School of Economics so I had some understanding of IP before I joined the industry.
"The more successful women are promoted in the media, the more other young women will see what is possible for them to achieve."
How do you think women's role in the IP industry has changed since then?
There are far more women in senior roles than when I started, including at the bar and in the solicitor and patent/trademark attorney professions. The IP judiciary is also making progress and Amanda Michaels and Emma Himsworth QC (both of whom also act as appointed persons) are examples, but I would like to see the IP judiciary catch up with other professions.
What more can the IP industry do to encourage the participation of women?
A work environment develops to suit its workers. Women have had to try to succeed in a workplace that has been created for men. The challenge for us all is how we create an environment that gets the best out of both men and women, for instance, rewarding collaborative success rather than the results of individual competitiveness.
How can the industry support innovative and creative women in bringing their ideas to market?
Role models are important. The more successful women are promoted in the media, the more other young women will see what is possible for them to achieve.
There have been some innovative women bringing their ideas to market and enjoying huge success but we do not hear enough about them, for instance, Sara Blakely becoming a billionaire against the odds with the Spanx brand.
Who or what inspires you?
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Tania Clark, CITMA, World IP Day 2018, trademark, barriers, IP judiciary, Amanda Michaels, Emma Himsworth