LONDON – IP firm Mewburn Ellis this week celebrates the 8th International Women and Girls in Science Day.
The celebration, led by UNESCO and UN-Women, will be marked by a programme of events at UN headquarters and online, taking place on Friday February 10th ahead of the day itself on Saturday 11th February.
International Women and Girls in Science Day was established in 2015 by UN resolution to promote full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls. According to UNESCO, less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women. The UN has flagged that, despite a shortage of skills in STEM subjects, women still account for only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics, while in cutting edge fields such as artificial intelligence, only one in five professionals (22%) is a woman.
The celebration of Women and Girls in Science Day forms part of Mewburn Ellis’ ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in the IP sector and beyond.
This includes launching the firm’s IP Equality Report which highlights the outstanding work being carried out by some of the women working in IP and how inclusion relates to innovation. Meanwhile the firm has created a Women of Mewburn Ellis Network (woMEn) which enables women across the Mewburn Ellis to connect and share ideas.
Mewburn Ellis’ commitment to diversity and inclusion also includes the launch last year of a Menopause policy, and signing the Menopause Workplace Pledge from women’s health charity Wellbeing of Women. Following the success of its Menopause policy, Mewburn Ellis is now supporting IP Inclusive in their Menopause activity.
Mewburn Ellis encourages action on Diversity and Inclusion at all levels and all members of the Mewburn Ellis Management Board have personally signed up to the Senior Leader’s Pledge launched by IP Inclusive. Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer Robert Andrews was a WIPR Diversity Champion for 2022 while associate Rebecca Campbell, a member of IP Inclusive’s Advisory Board, was a WIPR Diversity Trailblazer 2022.
On recruitment, Mewburn Ellis has a ratio of 50% female trainees and also uses Rare Recruitment’s Contextual Recruitment System, which takes into account that not every candidate’s achievements look the same on paper and helps ensure the best people are recruited from every background.
Last but not least, as part of its extensive charitable programme, the firm works with the British Science Association as the main firmwide charity, and has donated £88,000 to them to help young people of all backgrounds get into science. The firm has also made extensive donations to Karla 51, a women’s shelter in Munich, and to the Fawcett Society, which advocates for gender equality in the UK.
As a result of its consistent dedication to its environmental, social and governance initiatives, Mewburn Ellis was last year the first IP firm to be awarded a silver medal by EcoVadis, the universal sustainability ratings provider, which looks at the firm’s strategy in the areas of Gender Pay Gap data and Inclusion and Diversity, amongst others.
Frances Salisbury, Partner, Patent Attorney at Mewburn Ellis, said:
“Despite progress over the decades, the proportion of women and girls participating in STEM fields continues to lag behind that of their male counterparts, all over the world. We at Mewburn Ellis are proud of our achievements in gender diversity, as in others, but we recognise that enabling and encouraging women and girls to engage in STEM subjects is an ongoing effort all over the world. International Women and Girls in Science Day is vital in bringing attention to this important issue.”
Robert Andrews, Partner, Patent Attorney and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Mewburn Ellis, said:
“Improved participation of women and girls in science at all levels is not just desirable but essential to the sustained development of the sciences globally. STEM sectors continue to experience a skills shortfall in the UK and elsewhere, despite concerted efforts by governments and other key players to encourage STEM training and development. As an international IP firm we call for governments all over the world to engage with this issue, and we pay tribute to the women and girls in science of yesterday, today and tomorrow.”