Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy

/Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy
Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy 2024-05-07T10:15:00-04:00

Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy

Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) values a diverse membership that is inclusive and empowering to all individuals, regardless of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socioeconomic status. To that end, diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of our work. 

IPO is committed to improving diversity in the innovation ecosphere.  In 2017, the IPO Board of Directors adopted a strategic framework that includes developing a diverse pipeline of leaders by integrating diversity, equity and inclusion in all of our work. 

Resources developed by and for our members can be found below.  Get involved in a committee or resource group and help move the diversity needle in IP!

Diversity & Inclusion in IP

Use the tabs below to see some of the efforts IPO has worked on to further diversity and inclusion in the IP space.


Journey to Juneteenth


Click here to watch the Journey to Juneteenth. (IPO Members only)

Hiring and Retention Guide

D&I Hiring and Retention Guide Cover copy w logo

Click here to view the Hiring and Retention Guide in the Master Level section of the D&I Committee’s Practical Guide.

Diversity in Innovation Toolkit


Women and diverse employees have the technical skill and knowledge, yet their contributions are not patented at the same rate as those of their male counterparts. These statistics suggest that our organizations may not be capturing the full contribution of a large segment of our technical workforce – resulting in significant lost opportunity costs. This toolkit can help organizations move the needle on achieving gender parity in innovation.

Law Firm Complement


This Law Firm Complement is a tool for outside lawyers as well as other organizations to help their clients become familiar with and more easily navigate the Toolkit. In the process of helping clients to use the Toolkit, law firms will likely improve their client relationships, develop deeper relationships with their clients, have a better understanding of their clients and their clients’ cultures, be part of the client transitioning process, and help younger lawyers have speaking opportunities.

Diversity Pledge


IPO is partnering with USIPA to promote the Diversity Pledge. The Diversity Pledge was designed to make actionable and measurable change in increasing diversity in innovation in companies. Companies that take the pledge set out to understand and address the issue of underrepresented inventors. More than 50 companies have taken the pledge to date. We hope IPO member companies will consider taking the pledge.

Practical Guide to Diversity & Inclusion


IPO’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee is proud to share Version 3.0 of this guide.  It has been designed to be used to understand and improve Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) of legal professionals – especially lawyers – in law firms and corporate legal departments.  This Guide can be used for presentations and trainings to legal teams in law firms or corporate legal departments.  It can also be used for individual education and reference.

Diversity in the EU


The premise of this whitepaper is to review diversity metrics in the Intellectual Property (“IP”) space in Europe with the hopes of empowering all members of the population to contribute successfully to the innovation and IP industries.  This whitepaper focuses on gender and ethnic minority representation in the EU and UK, and it includes looking at law firms, corporations, and government agencies such as WIPO, EPO and UKIPO.

IPO Statements

Statement on Florida Supreme Court Order

Read the full IPO Statement on the Florida Supreme Court Order regarding Diversity on CLE Panels.

Sandra Nowak Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property Committee of the Judiciary United States Senate

Trailblazers and Lost Einsteins: Women Inventors and the Future of American Innovation

IPO Statement on Values and Equality in Response to Death of George Floyd

Read the full statement

IPO Statement on Discrimination Against the Asian/Pacific Islander Community

Read the full statement


2016 Outstanding Committee of the Year: Women in IP Law Committee From left to right: Shruti Costales (Secretary); Laura Sheridan (Chair); Mercedes Meyer (Vice Chair); Priya Prasad (Vice Chair); Kevin Rhodes (IPO President)

The work of our committees is vital to the success of IPO. In particular, the Diversity & Inclusion and Women in IP Law Committees have produced several resources focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the intellectual property community. If you would like to join one of the following committees or resource groups, use the links below.

Women in IP Law Committee

Created in 2016, the committee seeks to promote the  representation and advancement of women in IP law and to  improve the  gender diversity of IPO’s membership. In 2016, the Women in IP Committee received IPO’s Outstanding Committee of the Year Award.


Diversity & Inclusion Committee

2021 Outstanding Committee of the Year: Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Created in 2019, the committee focuses on recommending policy and programs that are consistent with the adopted IPO Membership and Values statement, as well as strives to ensure that the work of all IPO Committees incorporates the adopted D&I vision into their activities and recommendations. In 2021, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee received IPO’s Outstanding Committee of the Year Award.

Resource Groups

IPO Members can join a variety of resource groups including:

  • Asian IP Professionals
  • Black IP Professionals
  • IP Attorneys with Disabilities and Advocates
  • Hispanic IP Professionals
  • Pride & Allies IP Professionals

To join as many as you would like, visit IPO Connect.

IPO Education Foundation

IPO Education Foundation has a strategic initiative of “promoting innovation and creation by, within, and for underrepresented communities” through programming like the Behind the IDEA webinar series, Stroke of Genius podcast, Try Engineering Together Mentor program and more! For questions, please contact foundation@ipo.org.

Ready to get involved in IPO?

Contact Matt Rankin  (+1 202-507-4496) to start the membership process. You can also begin your application online.