IPO Board commitment to creating an inclusive working environment

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For the IPO to be a brilliant place to work, and for people to be able to do their best work, we all need to be confident and comfortable being ourselves.

As we approach the end of National Inclusion Week, we’d like to talk about our commitment to inclusion.

An inclusive culture is demonstrated through your values, principles and shows in the way you do things every day. We want everyone to feel comfortable being themselves at work. We support everyone’s basic human right to be who they are, supporting them to do their best work while they are with us.

We support the use of gender-neutral pronouns and facilities. We are making a commitment to review all our internal and external communication to make it gender-neutral where we legally can. As well as this, as we invest in and refurbish our buildings, we will make our facilities accessible to all.

We believe black lives matter. We are looking at our policies and practices that prevent our present and future black colleagues from reaching their potential with us.

We believe in equality of opportunity for all genders. We have committed to tackling our gender pay gap from the application process to our policies, ensuring everyone has equal access and opportunity.

We support people’s need to take time out for prayer and reflection, so we have quiet rooms available that can be used for these reasons.

Your sexual orientation, gender, race, age, any disability that you have, or any other characteristic should not prevent you from achieving your full potential. Neither should someone else’s attitude towards them. But we can’t do this alone. The responsibility to build an inclusive workplace rests with us all, if we want it to be fair and inclusive we need to know where it’s not so we can change.

We will not tolerate any form of behaviour that undermines someone’s basic human rights. We will challenge it where we see it and we want everyone to feel confident to do that too. All our IPO colleagues should feel safe and happy to be who they are without judgement or fear.

We know we can’t do this alone. That’s why we continually seek out best practice and external assurance to inform our approach to inclusion. This includes working in partnership with other government departments across the UK and internationally with other Intellectual Property bodies. We are also proud to have been a strong supporter of IP Inclusive which is working to bring greater diversity, equality and inclusivity to the IP profession.

We feel that the IPO has made real progress in creating an inclusive environment. We achieved silver for the second consecutive year in the Chwarae Teg Fairplay Employer awards. We placed in the top 30 of Working Families Employer index for the fourth consecutive year. We’ve been a signatory of the BiTC Race at Work Charter for two years, committing to taking action to achieve racial equality in the workplace. We placed in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list in 2019 for a third consecutive year, achieved Gold in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index and been awarded Gold accreditation by Investors in People.

But we recognise there is more work to do. If we want to make the IPO a Brilliant Place to Work, making it an inclusive workplace is critical. We all have a responsibility to that vision.

IPO Board: Tim, David, Dom, Pippa, Mike, Ros, Neil, Adam

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