08 March 2023
International Women’s Day is a globally recognised day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day also serves as a call to action for gender equality and to raise awareness of the struggles and challenges that women face worldwide. In the context of innovation and intellectual property (IP), women have made significant contributions and advancements in various fields.
However, the representation of women in these industries remains disproportionately low. This year, Mathys & Squire is celebrating International Women’s Day by highlighting the experiences of women in the IP profession, as well as looking at their idols, inspirations and motivators behind their success.
“My decision to pursue a career in patent law is driven by the desire to continue learning about how the world functions, the same reason that I chose to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate study in physics.
As a Technical Assistant, I am fortunate to spend most of my time at work learning – either by teaching myself about new inventions or being taught how to apply the law to help inventors and businesses use their legal right to stop others practicing inventions that belong to others.
My role models are Rosalind Franklin and Marie Curie. Rosalind is an idol of mine for the work that she contributed to understanding the structure of DNA, despite being unacknowledged during her lifetime, and Marie Curie who was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize, the first person to be awarded two Nobel prizes, and so far, still the only person to have won Nobel prizes in more than one field.
Marie worked in science throughout her life, not only for the pursuit of knowledge, but also applying her work to provide real life benefits during World War I. Radiological cars nicknamed ‘petites Curies’ provided X-rays to soldiers and Marie Curie visited the front line more than 30 times over the course of the war.”
“I’m a physicist by training – I studied physics because I wanted to learn about why the world works as it does. I now work with technologies ranging from computer networking to medical devices via green technologies and consumer products.
My science idol is Maggie Aderin-Pocock. I love the fact that, after a career at the top levels of research in astrophysics, she is so passionate about communicating science and inspiring young people.”
“I was attracted to study material science and engineering by a desire to learn about the ‘stuff’ our world is made from, and how we can engineer a better future through smarter materials.
Now in a career in IP, I am driven by helping entrepreneurs and startups protect their ideas. British female entrepreneur, Mandy Haberman, is a particular inspiration. Haberman developed the Anywayup® cup, the world’s first totally non-spill toddler cup. Through a series of high-profile ‘David and Goliath’-style court cases, she successfully defended her intellectual property and received great commercial success. I hope to help many other entrepreneurs protect their inventions and realise their potential.”
“I studied biology because I was interested in the natural world and everything that lives in it. I later specialised in genetics – I was fascinated by how DNA results in the differences between species and individuals.
I chose to pursue a career in patents because I wanted to stay exposed to new discoveries and inventions across a broad spectrum of biological areas. I now work with new treatments for a range of medical conditions, including cancer, blood clots that may lead to strokes or heart attacks, and genetic disorders.
It’s hard to pick just one science idol but since I named my cat after her, I have to choose Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin, the astronomer/astrophysicist who first discovered stars are made of hydrogen and helium. She faced a lot of opposition and difficulties because she was a woman, but she continued in science nonetheless.”
“I feel very fortunate to have worked alongside some brilliant women throughout my career. They are passionate and successful lawyers, scientists, communicators, engineers, mathematicians. They are also mothers, daughters, sisters, friends. They’re inspiring, creating and breaking barriers every day. I’m proud to say that some of those women are why I’m in IP today. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “well-behaved women rarely make history” and the same can be said for the women in IP helping to change the status quo.”
“I’m a materials scientist by training – I studied physical natural sciences, specialising in materials science, because I wanted to contribute to the innovation of life-changing technology. As a patent attorney, I enjoy being at the cutting edge of technological advances and seeing how they shape the world around us. I joined Mathys & Squire earlier this year and I am so grateful to be surrounded by a team of strong, successful women.
My science idol is Katherine Johnson who has a truly inspiring story. She overcame discrimination over her race and gender to fulfil a critical part of NASA’s first successful manned space mission.”
“Let us choose for ourselves our path in life, and let us try to strew that path with flowers.” This quote, by French philosopher Emilie du Chatelet, resonated with me. Embracing that we are all individually unique with our own goals and dreams which takes us all in different directions of life. I’m proud to be working alongside strong women in IP who showcase hard work and determination.”
“My STEM idol Mae Jemison once said “Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” This quote sits with me as it is a bold thing to listen to your imagination, lean into your creativity and forever be curious about the things in life. Mainly because, as we grow older such skills are hindered rather than natured due to life circumstances and the world that we live in.”
The above is just a small fraction of the many women that have helped shape Mathys & Squire, each an integral part of our team, and a testament to the hard work of women in IP. We would like you all to join us in wishing a happy International Women’s Day to all women around us!
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