WIPR Influential Women in IP 2020
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced during
your career, and how have you overcome it?
As a young female lawyer, dealing with condescension
has been the biggest challenge. I’ve learned to take a
step back and focus on communicating clear legal
reasoning—most people will abandon their initial
assumptions when faced with logic and case law.
Anna Toh, associate director, Amica Law
One of the challenges in my career is simply not
seeing enough people who look like me and earning
a level of approval simply because I don’t fit the
“traditional” mould of an attorney. On a fairly
consistent basis, I encounter surprised looks when
I enter a room and introduce myself. While this can
be disheartening, most women of colour are familiar
with this feeling.
To overcome this challenge, I simply continue to
show up and be unapologetically me. I know that my
work is impeccable. At the same time, I actively work
to increase the diversity within the IP and legal space
by working to shift mindsets.
Adraea Brown, director, legal–trademarks and brand protection,
I’m a crier. Happy, sad or frustrated—tears! But
apparently, it’s a no-go in the workplace. Here’s how
I’ve overcome it: if I’m going into something that I
have strong feelings about, I take tissues (or I try to
I have overcome the challenge by realising
that it’s not my challenge to overcome; it belongs
to the person sitting across from me looking at
Crying has nothing to do with emotional
intelligence, professional capabilities or strength of
character. It’s just science. Deal with it.
Katie Goulding, senior trademark attorney, HGF
The biggest challenge during the first year in this
field of practice is the fact that we are required to give
legal advice on a range of issues from commercial
viability and marketing, to vesting ownership and
infringement. Our work is not relevant only to filing
applications or prosecution work.
To overcome this difficulty I tried hard to
discuss with experienced people in the same field.
Always remember that real practice might be
different from what you think you understand by
reading books. l
Paramee Kerativitayanan, IP lawyer, Chavalit &
show up and be