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Unmasking the Bisexual Identity: Fact v Fiction

On September 25th, Director of our Patent and Trade Mark team Catherine French attended the IP Inclusive event, “Unmasking the Bisexual Identity: Fact v Fiction” which was run by the IP Out Committee and the London Bisexual Network whilst being generously hosted by Allen and Overy.

A welcome from Allen and Overy’s Global Head of IP, David Stone and introduction from Wiggin LLP’s Trade Mark Associate, Georgina Hart led to a fascinating panel discussion co-ordinated by EIP’s Head of Chemistry patent practice, Darren Smyth.

Sharing their experiences as IP professionals who all identify as bisexual, the panel members, Jonathan Andrews, Netanya Clixby and Rob Davey addressed the fiction with fact: rather than being confused, untrustworthy, and promiscuous, (perceptions they have all been faced with), here are highly professional, high performers and partners in long term monogamous relationships and / or marriages who just want to give their all to their careers and their employers.

Particularly thought provoking was the discussion around how colleagues and employers can help to provide a supportive work environment: statistics show that those who are free to be whoever they are without having to hide or filter conversations, can put the extra effort that takes into their work and be 20% more productive.

A couple of tips for small changes bringing big benefits:

- Demonstrate awareness: in conversations related to personal life, be non gender specific: use “partner” and “they”.

- Demonstrate support: diversity and inclusion policies / activities are increasingly important factors in choosing and staying with employers. Be ready to discuss what you do already and to listen to new ideas.

A happy workplace is a productive one, and so are all those within it! 

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