In Latin America in general, the issue of diversity and inclusion remains poorly addressed in some sectors, and addressing it implies breaking many taboos that persist within our society.
At ASIPI, the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property, we took the decision to express our opinions on these matters and to generate contributions, and above all, to actively disseminate and promote mutual respect and inclusion.
In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of Diversity and Inclusion among ASIPI members, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee developed an ongoing social media campaign in 2022 and 2023, to recognise and celebrate global initiatives related to these matters. We also organised webinars and panels to discuss these topics at the association's annual events.
Furthermore, in 2022, the Committee launched an event named “Come as you are” during ASIPI’s Annual Congress in Colombia. This event encouraged attendees to come dressed in something unique that identified them, leaving everyone free to express their individualities in a safe and unprejudiced environment. We wanted to celebrate the differences that enrich us.
The event was very well received and for the first time an Intellectual Property Association included an official celebration on the issue of Diversity and Inclusion in its programme, emphasising ASIPI’s commitment to DEI. In 2023, we further developed the event and called it “WE… RESPECT” - to raise awareness of the importance and right to be respectful and to be respected within the Association. The committee wanted to highlight that “our limits end where another person’s limits start”.
On this occasion, the Committee compiled responses from various members of the Association, including the executive committee, about what respect means to each of them. These responses were shared on social media, so that the theme of respect was reflected on and understood by members.
Breaking paradigms, during the event ASIPI surprised everyone with the show “El Sirenito”, one of the best drag queen shows in Latin America. Once again, the event was a success and broke barriers for many of ASIPI’s members, including those who identified themselves or had some affinity with the LGBTQ+ community. We received comments like “this was truly one of the best and most compassionate experiences I've ever encountered at an IP conference”, and “I’ve never felt more included and seen at an IP conference than I do now”.
This groundbreaking initiative within our association achieved significant success. It struck a chord with numerous members who have encountered various forms of discrimination, those who have close ties to the LGBT community, and individuals who have directly experienced or witnessed such discrimination within their families.
We know there is still much work to do in this area, but we are proud of our committee’s work and passion to make a difference and are driven to continue to create a positive impact in our region for our profession.
Looking ahead to the coming year, we plan to continue to foster and promote the significance of mutual respect, acceptance, non-discrimination, and freedom through ASIPI and our Diversity and Inclusion Committee.