WIPR Influential Women in IP 2019
www.worldipreview.com Editor’s Note
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Balancing the boardroom
Diversity matters to business,
but are law fi rms doing enough?
STEM gender gap
How to stop women leaving the
WIPO’s Director General on
Top trailblazers profi led:
Meet the IP industry’s leading
In association with:
Published by: Newton Media Limited
Kingfisher House, 21-23 Elmfield Road, Greater London
BR11LT, United Kingdom
Director: Nicholas Lipinski
Group publisher, editor-in-chief: Peter Scott
Telephone: +44 203 301 8217
Group editor: Tom Phillips
Editor: Sarah Morgan
Telephone: +44 203 301 8236
Sub-editor: Ros Bromwich
Journalists: Rory O’Neill, Saman Javed
Advertising sales manager: Amy Samra
Telephone: +44 203 301 8223
Senior account manager: Toni Lamb
Production manager: Pat Jones
Project manager: Louise McMillan
Telephone: +44 203 301 8203
Telephone: +44 203 301 8212
Production and design: Fisherman Creative
©Newton Media Limited 2019
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may
be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electrical,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise
without the prior written permission of the publisher.
The views expressed in World Intellectual Property
Review are not necessarily those shared by the
publisher, Newton Media Limited. Wishing to reflect the
true nature of the market, we have included articles
from a number of sources, and the views expressed are
those of the individual contributors. No responsibility
or liability is accepted by Newton Media Limited for
any loss to any person, legal or physical, as a result
of any statement, fact or figure contained in World
Intellectual Property Review.
This publication is not a substitute for advice on a
The publication of advertisements does not represent
endorsement by the publisher.
World Intellectual Property Review:
ISSN 2041-1170 (Print)
Cover image: Shutterstock.com / Zenzen
WIPR is a registered trademark of Newton Media Ltd
WIPR INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN IP 2019 A NEWTON MEDIA PUBLICATION
The drive to do better
In the context of the #MeToo movement and the increasing clamour around
pay inequality, it’s clear that more people are more engaged in the fight for
gender equality in the workplace than ever before.
However, there’s a danger that all this sound and fury ends up signifying
nothing, that the potential for progress gets subsumed in the noise and outrage
that accompanies it. Dealing with specific problems requires identifying those
problems and taking specific actions to remedy them. It is in that context that we
at WIPR are launching this focus on the role women play in the practice of IP law.
Researching this project has, however, shocked me. I always knew that there
were fewer women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
(STEM) fields and I was aware that there were fewer female partners than male
ones in law firms.
What I wasn’t aware of was the extent of the gender gap, and its repercussions
for humankind. How can we ever expect to tackle challenges such as climate
change and sustainable development, if half of the world’s population aren’t
involved in the process?
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) kindly provided WIPR
with detailed statistics on female inventors named on Patent Cooperation
Treaty (PCT) patent applications. Unsurprisingly, women are in the minority
across the board. In the following pages, Francis Gurry, director general of
WIPO, has provided his thoughts on this state of affairs.
What has encouraged me most during production of this special magazine
is the work being done to bridge this gap and drive awareness of the benefits of
It was slow to the start line, but the legal sector is picking up its diversity
ambitions—nearly 65% of the respondents in a survey we carried out earlier this
year said their companies have diversity and inclusion policies.
Our survey, which was open to both men and women, asked about your
experiences in your current organisation and profession. We wanted to ensure
we fully understood the current state of gender diversity in the industry.
Yet the pace is not quick enough. If we maintain the current rate of change,
gender parity in PCT applications is not expected until 2080. As an industry,
we need to encourage girls to enter STEM fields, plus show off female role
models and seek better ways to retain women in the field.
Finally, I’ve come to the conclusion that the legal profession needs to
overhaul its culture of long days and constant pressure, if it wants to have
any hope of attracting and retaining women. This culture is pervasive in the
law, and it helps embed inequality; it may benefit the bottom line for now,
but enlightened firms who can change the culture will likely find out that all
employees reap the benefits of better working conditions, and in the long term,
this is likely to encourage better performance on every measure.
I’d like to thank our sponsors—without you, this project would not have
Let me also express my thanks to every single survey respondent. Your
nominations have allowed us to champion women and acknowledge all the
work they have done for the legal profession.
Most of all, I’d like to thank everyone who has shared their story with me.
While I’ve heard many disheartening accounts, I’ve also seen unadulterated
optimism for a better future. And that’s truly inspiring.
Sarah Morgan, editor