On Wednesday, June 24th, the Chicago Women in IP (ChiWIP) kicked off a successful movement for women in the intellectual property community at Ocean Tomo’s Chicago office. After initiating a similar event on the west coast, I felt that Chicago was the perfect venue for such a network and mentoring group. The group’s goal is simply to create and grow a Chicago-based IP community for the advancement and retention of women in intellectual property. As ChiWIP’s founding member and Ocean Tomo’s Director of Client Services, I felt I was in a great position to facilitate this community.
This movement started from a discussion between seven women in the Chicago legal community who pondered the value of a network of professional women in IP. Our ChiWIP committee believe that there is incredible value in gathering the collective experience and insights from women in the Chicago IP community. We asked ourselves many questions before launching this group, such as: What would this group strive for? How could it help women grow within the IP community? And together, we decided that this community would serve as a resource to:
- Promote the advancement, development and retention of women in IP
- Share best practices and professional resources
- Build professional relationships and advisory role models
- Develop a close-knit network of connections outside of current associations
- Learn new skills for building a book of business, networking, moving from large to mid-size law firms, going in-house and everything in between
- Host monthly personalized advisory committee sessions addressing specific group directed issues confidentially
Within 48 hours of the invitations going out, the event filled up to capacity. Those who attended were amazed by not only the 95 women who attended the event but also the many women who, although unable to attend, relayed their support for the organization and its mission. As a community, Chicago Women in IP can help one another grow, advance and prosper in the practice of IP law and business related services.