European Patent Office
As vice president of the European Patent Office’s (EPO) directorate-general corporate services, Nellie Simon leads the digital transformation of the office. She is also responsible for delivering support services including human resources, information management, finance, general administration, and central procurement. Prior to joining the EPO in 2019, she was head of cabinet and acting director of the academy at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Between 2012 and 2018 she was the director of EUIPO’s digital transformation department. Under her leadership, the EPO launched a “Women in the Lead” mentoring programme designed to support talented women in developing their careers and personal development opportunities. Initially set up as a pilot, the programme was successful in encouraging women to take the next step in their careers: 40% of mentees applied for a new role and 24% moved on to management roles. Based on this success, the programme will be upscaled to give more talented employees the opportunity to reach their full potential.