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The bottom line benefits of gender diversity

There are lots of valid debates about the benefits of diverse workplaces. Should businesses do more to retain their female staff because they bring different talents to the workplace, for example? Or do men and women have the same skill sets, rendering policies that make it harder for women to progress at work unfair for women and an own goal for businesses looking to expand their talent pool?

Those kinds of debates might seem academic, but news this week of threatened shareholder revolts against companies with few women in their boards show just how important it is for businesses to think carefully about their diversity strategies.

Lawyers in private practice ­– particularly those in the US – will know that it is not just companies who are under scrutiny in this area. Clients are increasingly asking to see figures from law firms that reveal how many women and minorities have become senior associates and been promoted to partnership.

But what can businesses and law firms do to ensure they retain their female legal talent and keep the talent pipeline flowing? Women IP professionals will have the opportunity to share best practices they can take back to their firms at an event in New York next week, as well as hear about the latest IP developments around the word.

Managing IP’s International Women’s Leadership Forum is a one-day event designed to bring together senior and junior women IP practitioners to network and strengthen their professional relationships. Entry to the Forum is free for in-house counsel, R&D professionals and academics and registration includes membership of Managing IP’s new Women’s Network (for more information on that, contact my colleague Vicki Taylor at vtaylor@euromoneyplc.com). I look forward to seeing some of you there.

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