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07:50 AM
Breakfast + Check In
08:50 AM
Opening Comments
09:00 AM
Measuring Progress: The Current State of Diversity in IP and Tech

Diverse representation within STEM-associated fields, including the patent and technology sectors, is low, and this representation only decreases as we look farther up the talent pipeline to leadership. But there has been progress. What is the current state of Diverse progress in the patent and tech fields, and how can we keep the trend going despite the uncertain economy threatening a shift away from a DEI Focus?

This panel will explore:

  • The current state of Diversity in IP & Tech
  • Where current progress has come from
  • Weak points and cultural shifts to keep an eye on that could threaten progress
  • Initiatives that can be put in place to create sustainable change around DEI

09:45 AM
Recruiting, Retaining and Promoting Diverse Workforce

Diversity needs to be a focus from recruitment through retention and beyond to ensure that women and other underrepresented individuals within STEM-based fields are not just being hired, but remaining with the company, and progressing up the talent pipeline. How can we as individuals and leaders promote a true culture of inclusion in our workplaces?

This panel will explore:

  • Recruitment strategies, where they work and where they’re falling short
  • Progress & challenges to retaining diverse talent
  • Best recruitment and retention strategies for your company
  • Strategies for developing and promoting diverse talent up the pipeline
  • Overcoming bias in hiring, review processes, promotion and compensation

10:30 AM
Collaboration Over Competition: Fostering a Culture of Support and Growth

Collaboration is the key to success. Not just through collaboration with the dominant groups in these patent and technology sectors, but also between underrepresented individuals and groups vying for positions, and within different departments and fields. Due to the limited spots available for underrepresented individuals, it’s often felt that women and other diverse individuals must compete with one another to earn those spots. Underrepresented groups must instead work together to open more opportunities and raise each other up.

This panel will explore:

  • Addressing and preventing competition-mindedness in a workplace
  • Ways underrepresented individuals can work together to rise to success
  • Ways to work together to raise each other up
  • How to spread improvements from one sector to another

11:15 AM
Networking Break
11:55 AM
Transforming Tech and IP: Addressing Systemic Bias Across Industries

The lack of women and other underrepresented individuals within tech and IP can be directly traced back to stereotypes and biases surrounding those who choose to enter STEM fields. These stereotypes and biases not only contribute to a lack of diversity, but also reinforce barriers regarding who is promoted to the executive level, and continue to create challenges even for those who are do manage to move into leadership positions.

This session will explore:

  • Raising awareness of bias, assumptions, and stereotyping
  • How to recognize, address, and resolve commissions of microaggressions
  • Recognizing and overcoming our own individual biases
  • Real World Strategies that all organizations can implement to create -and sustain- improvement internally

12:40 PM
Personal Branding & Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

We all want to be seen in an unbiased way. Unfortunately, stereotypes and presumptions often distort people’s perceptions before we even enter a room. Therefore, as much as we want to be our authentic selves, members of diverse and underrepresented groups often find it necessary to distort the lens in order to avoid judgment. This distortion can manifest in a myriad of ways such as how we dress, speak, identify ourselves, and even how we move our bodies and view our own success.

This panel will explore:

  • The experiences of women and other underrepresented individuals and how they navigate identity in the workplace
  • How to address and face Imposter Syndrome in ourselves and others
  • What leaders can do to create a culture of belonging that allows employees to be their authentic selves
  • What we can do as individuals to create a safe space for ourselves and others to embrace and celebrate our differences

01:25 PM
Lunch + Networking
02:05 PM

Rotating, 20-minute discussions hosted by a topic expert. If interested, please email


03:10 PM
Networking Break
03:25 PM
Building a Foundation for Success: Sponsorship, Mentorship and Coaching

Accelerating career growth and succeeding takes more than hard work and dedication. Mentoring provided by influential leaders coupled with impactful coaching can help women and diverse individuals within the STEM fields develop and foster relationships that promote success in their careers. Mentorship, sponsorship, and coaching all have major influence on creating more equity and inclusion, while giving diverse groups the confidence and tools to succeed within an organization.

This panel will explore:

  • Identifying partners and allies to support your career growth and success
  • Paying it forward through mentorship
  • The impact of coaching on leadership development and career advancement
  • Best practices for implementing successful sponsorship & mentorship programs

04:10 PM
Accelerating Leadership Development: Strategies to Develop Diverse Leaders

How can we accelerate the development and advancement of diverse leaders? What intentional strategies, approaches and processes are currently working and which ones do we need to rethink?

This panel will explore:

  • The current approaches to leadership development: what is working and what is not
  • Showing future Diverse leaders a path to excel and grow
  • How to effectively advance diverse leaders
  • What the obstacles are and how to overcome them

04:55 PM
VIP Series: Featuring Steve Gong + Wade Yamazaki

Inspired by the success of our podcast series—Journeys to Equity—CenterForce is proud to introduce our VIP Interview Program. At this summit, Steve Gong of Google and Wade Yamazaki of Cruise represent the ADAPT (Advancing Diversity Across Patent Teams) organization and will share DEI data and metrics from top companies with patent legal departments, including Google, Apple, and more, as well as how this data can guide companies and individuals alike on next steps to create a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive patent and tech industry.

05:25 PM
Closing Comments + Networking Cocktail Hour

Take part in this prestigious opportunity by nominating exceptional leaders within your network who have exemplified unwavering commitment to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion. NOTE: All Nominations due by September 28, 2023: Your nominee MUST be in attendance at the conference to be eligible for the award!

 Submit Your Nomination here:

  • Closing Comments
  • DEI Awards Ceremony
  • Networking Cocktail Hour