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A pitch competition & symposium to empower academic women entrepreneurs

Q&A with Victoria Friedman, Dennemeyer & Associates

By Kristen Otto | June 3, 2020

Dennemeyer is a proud sponsor of Equalize 2020. Read more about their commitment to women innovators via their IP Blog, Dennemeyer Insights.

Answers provided by Victoria Friedman (pictured)
Managing Partner, Dennemeyer & Associates

Q: What is your advice for a woman researcher who does not see herself as an inventor?

A: Give yourself the permission to take credit where credit is due. Women sometimes feel that it is selfish or egotistical to take credit. But in science, it is imperative to own your discoveries in order to promote the growth and development of your field. Research scientists in general, male or female, should not shy away from recognition and take it as part of the process.

Q: In your opinion, why are so few women inventors named on patents?

A: Historically, patentable inventions have mostly come from R&D and university initiatives. The named inventors would primarily be teams, not sole inventors. In the past, such teams were comprised primarily of males. However, in the last two decades, as female presence in patentable arts has increased, we have seen much more gender diversity on inventor teams. Consequently, when diverse teams invent, the pool of named inventors also grows more diverse and more women are named on patents. There is definite and steady improvement in this area.

Q: How can we further tap into the innovative contributions women make in society?

A: In recent years, many companies have stepped up in a big way by allowing more employees to work from home. This is especially instrumental to keeping women engaged with, and committed to an organization. When organizations make it a priority to make accommodations for a woman’s changing life and circumstances, the retention rates grow and, inevitably, employees give back much more. When employees are happy and feel valued, innovation flourishes.

Q: How does Dennemeyer support women in IP?

A: Dennemeyer is committed to diversity, in all its facets and particularly, in diversity of thought, views and cultures. Dennemeyer is one of a handful of leading global law firms that employs a female managing partner/director in its us law firm operations. I was hired as managing partner and promoted to director of us operations because I was the best candidate for the role. And my unique management style has resulted in tremendous growth for the firm.