Diversity data: an introduction

Data relating to DEI is notoriously difficult to obtain and the working landscape is always changing. Where data is collected, there are often gaps – and then there is the all-important question of what to do with the information that is gleaned. In this section, we take a deep dive into diversity data as it relates to both IP practice and creation. First, we ask what patent data from the USPTO reveals about female participation in US innovation. We then compare gender pay gap reporting at law firms in the United Kingdom and the United States. The message is the same in both jurisdictions – while representation appears to be improving, parity is still a long way off.

These numbers provide an invaluable window into diversity and equity in the industry, but what about inclusion? Analysis of a recent IP Inclusive mental health survey reveals that most IP practitioners are experiencing stress and other mental health problems as a result of heavy workloads. We reached out to over 100 law firm, in-house and IP service professionals to find out whether they are being adequately supported at work in an exclusive survey – the results of which are available here.

The question then loops back to how best to use this information to drive change. Suzanne Harrison and Allen Lo of the newly formed US Intellectual Property Alliance explain why some of the world's biggest companies are signing up to the Diversity Pledge to improve representation going forward.

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