Forresters set up an internal Equality and Diversity group in early 2020. The group aims to promote and improve equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the company and is made up of Forresters employees in different offices, with different job roles and different levels of seniority.
Forresters is proud to represent a diverse and dedicated workforce which keeps us moving in the best clear direction – forwards. There are many things that set Forresters apart from its competition – our forward-thinking ethos of Clear Direction has allowed us to be at the cutting edge of IP prosecution, to be proactive in taking opportunities, and to be recognized as one of the UK’s leading IP companies.
Our biggest strength, however, is our people.
The ultimate goals of Forresters’ Equality and Diversity Group are:
- to foster an environment which truly represents our colleagues,
- to help Forresters be a leader of equality and diversity in our sector,
- and to make sure that every voice and experience in our company is listened to.
Forresters are chartered signatories of IP Inclusive, an initiative that brings people together from across the IP sector to promote and improve equality, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing within our community. Our partners Alex Beattie and Emma Johnson are long-standing members of the senior leaders’ forum at IPInclusive, attending several meetings and helping devise and set in motion various initiatives including:
- carrying out an industry-wide “benchmarking” survey to see how the profession is represented with respect to age, race, gender, level of formal education etc. to discover where the industry is at the moment, and track how things change and improve over time.
- creating a set of best practices for firms to follow, regarding e.g., recruitment performance evaluation and reward, training and career development.
- raising awareness of the patent and trade mark professions among a wider range of potential recruits, in particular those in currently under-represented groups.
Some of the important initiatives introduced by our E&D group are listed below. These all come as part of an on-going process to continue to improve issues around inclusion, diversity and equality at Forresters.
- Implementation of a gender-neutral language policy in correspondence.
- Employees now have the choice to include their preferred pronouns in their email signatures.
- Introduced the read&write toolbar to support colleagues with neurodiverse conditions and hidden disabilities.
- Added important accessibility information to our website.
- Raising awareness of non-Christian religious holidays among our diverse staff.
- Hosting internal events and book clubs for international awareness days, such as International Women’s Day, International Men’s Day, Black History Month, and Pride Month to name a few.
- Worked with HR and management to update our family policies, utilising more inclusive wording and improving the benefits to our staff.
- Participation in the IP Inclusive Careers in Ideas mentoring scheme, which is open to staff in all roles to mentor people looking to get into the IP profession.