AIPLA's 2014 Women in IP Global Networking Event
Oblon Spivak hosted the AIPLA Northern Virginia Women in IP networking dinner on May 22, 2014. Guest speaker Michelle Lee, Deputy Director of the USPTO shared her experiences and insights about the Intellectual Property industry from a woman's perspective. Living in Silicon Valley, Ms. Lee was surrounded by engineers and innovators who were changing the world through their new products, services and companies, which encouraged her to contribute to the growing force of innovation.
Ms. Lee also focused her speech on the encouragement of America’s next generation of strong, creative women. She spoke of and praised the establishment of STEM education worldwide and other similar outreach programs that allow women to be competitive and inspire them to be innovative entrepreneurs. Among other things, Ms. Lee talked about her involvement with the local Girl Scouts of America troop and her role in the formation of ChIPs, a Silicon Valley based non-profit organization with a mission of “supporting and promoting the advancement, development and retention of women in technology and IP.” Noting that it takes a lot of work to be involved in such organizations, Ms. Lee confirmed that the benefits make it very worthwhile.
The statistics shared by Michelle Lee demonstrated that strides are clearly being made towards promoting and supporting women in the Intellectual Property field. In 2013 alone, the USPTO worked with over 3,000 young women through targeted programming focused on IP and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities. Michelle inspired the attendees by reciting figures regarding women working at the USPTO and other high visibility organizations: At the USPTO, 36 percent of the workforce is female, 44 percent of all managers and officials are women and 32 percent of the senior executives are women.
All of the attendees were inspired by Michelle Lee’s determination and accomplishments and enjoyed an evening of networking and camaraderie.