D&I Update: Fish & Richardson Attends ChIPs Summits, Promotes Director of Diversity & Inclusion

Last week, Fish & Richardson was proud to support ChIPs and sponsor the attendance of 19 attorneys and business professionals at the 2022 ChIPs NextGen and Global Summits.

ChIPs is a nonprofit organization that advances and connects women in technology, law, and policy. For the first time, ChIPs brought together its NextGen and Global Summits for three days of content, which included panels featuring Fish principals Juanita Brooks and Esha Bandyopadhyay. The ChIPs NextGen Summit was an empowering program for female lawyers in the first 15 years of their career that was geared specifically for the next generation of leaders. The ChIPs Global Summit brought together hundreds of women from law firms, corporations, government, and academia for three days of programming and activities that inspired, connected, and advanced women.

Principal Juanita Brooks spoke on a panel at the Global Summit about judicial perspectives and trends in intellectual property. As a long-time attendee and frequent speaker at ChIPs, Brooks values the importance of the organization in creating a community for women: “40 years ago, there were few women in the legal tech field and there was no space for us to come together,” said Brooks. “As women in STEM-related fields, we were far outnumbered by our male counterparts, which made advancing up the ranks more of a challenge. ChIPs and the Global Summit has helped to change that because it created a community and a pipeline where everyone from accomplished leaders to younger professionals can learn, inspire each other, open doors of opportunity, and provide support.”

Principal Esha Bandyopadhyay participated on a panel at NextGen entitled “Internal Politics: Behind the Scenes with Partners and In-house Counsel.”

Fish’s robust attendance at ChIPs underscores its commitment to advancing women and fostering diversity and inclusion both internally and within the legal industry at large. To that end, Whitney Smallwood was recently promoted to director of diversity & inclusion. In her new role, Smallwood will spearhead diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives under a comprehensive strategic plan. Notably, this includes the implementation of a DEI creditable hours policy, which recognizes the importance of DEI contributions to Fish’s firm culture. In addition, Smallwood will augment recruiting and professional development efforts to effectively recruit, develop, and retain a diverse, engaged, and innovative workforce.

“At Fish, we know that actively and thoughtfully building our diverse community enhances the quality of legal services we provide to our clients and bolsters a creative and respectful culture where individuals can thrive,” said Principal Ahmed J. Davis, national chair of Fish’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative. “Whitney has been a driving force in that mission and will champion the next chapter of our efforts to maximize the contributions and engagement of our workforce.”