We interviewed Elaine Deyes, Partner and Trade Mark Attorney, on how she began her career and what advice she would give aspiring women in the industry.
How did you become a trade mark attorney?
I studied IP as part of my Law with French degree, which is what initially piqued my interest. Then a friend of mine, who was aware of my interest in law, and particularly Intellectual Property law, and was himself training to be a Patent Attorney, suggested that I might be well-suited to a career in the Patent and Trade Mark profession. Prior to this, I was not familiar with the role of a Trade Mark Attorney but, on further investigation, it quickly became clear that this was something that fitted very well with my interests and academic background/qualifications and, in particular, my linguistic skills. I applied to a number of Patent and Trade Mark Attorney firms that looked like a good fit, and have never looked back!
Have you faced any barriers, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field?
I believe women are very well represented within the UK Trade Mark profession as a whole. In fact, I believe that women make up more than 50% of the UK’s qualified trade mark attorneys! I have been very lucky that I have always been very well supported throughout my career at Dehns, and have never felt that being a woman has held me back. Indeed, I am one of 4 female partners, out of a total of 7 partners practising in our Trade Mark Department.
Why is an inclusive and diverse workforce important?
As major players in a fast-moving, competitive and global field, it is vital that Dehns attracts and retains the best attorneys and support staff, and never loses the ability to see things through the eyes of our clients. We can only do this by drawing upon the many strengths and benefits of an inclusive and diverse workforce, which reflects the diverse nature of our clients, competitors and the world as a whole.
What advice would you give aspiring women in your industry?
In a world where many professions and businesses are still male-dominated and where glass ceilings are still very much in existence, I would congratulate them on joining what I believe to be a very interesting, challenging and rewarding profession and, most importantly, one that actively welcomes and encourages women. If they put in the effort and are sufficiently driven, there is no reason why they shouldn’t achieve their goals and enjoy the same success as their male counterparts.