Elaine Spector Goes Viral with #BreakMomBias

Harrity Partner & Diversity Co-chair, Elaine Spector, recently went viral in a LinkedIn post sharing her thoughts on how mothers are treated in the field of law, in response to a leaked text message from a male attorney to his female colleague in Ohio.

In short, the female attorney was asked to work while on maternity leave, and later resigned. She received the following text from a male partner at her firm.

“What you did — collecting salary from the firm while sitting on your ass, except to find time to interview for another job — says everything one needs to know about your character. Karma’s a bitch. Rest assured, regarding anyone who inquires, they will hear the truth from me about what a soul-less and morally bankrupt person you are.”

Elaine’s post reads:

“‘Collecting Salary From the Firm While Sitting on Your Ass’

We can all look at the statement and think it is atrocious. But what is more atrocious is that the firm leadership’s first response was to “explain” the exchange. I am happy to hear that the lawyer who sent the text was fired, but why didn’t that happen initially?

And what unnerves me the most is that many lawyers think this way. That somehow, maternity leave is easy where we just “sit on our ass” and eat bon-bons.

Let me tell you something. Growing a human inside of me (three times) was the most physically challenging time in my life, not to mention the trauma of birth. I had no idea the recovery would be so painful. Imagine having surgery and then being woken up in the middle of the night every 2 hours to nurse a child. It is absolutely physically exhausting. I needed every day of the 12 weeks I had off to recover from birth, as well as bond with my child.

So, as a show of solidarity with the woman who received that horrific text, I am posting a picture of me just after I gave birth to my first child 20 years ago. It was harder than any race I have run.

We are warriors!”

Shortly after, Elaine was featured in an article for Above the Law by Wendi Weiner, who discusses the curtailing impact of why toxic culture is to blame for women leaving law firms.

“Elaine Spector, a patent lawyer, posted in solidarity about her pregnancy and subsequent harsh recovery. Both of these posts and countless others sent a very loud and clear message: maternity leave is definitely not ‘sitting on your ass,'” the article, titled Why Toxic Culture Is To Blame For Women Leaving Law Firms reads.

At Harrity, we believe in equal treatment and opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We are also committed to maintaining a respectful, inclusive, and supportive workplace for all employees.

In support of all working women and all moms throughout the world, if you haven’t already, we encourage you to post a picture of yourself either after childbirth, mothering your children, or whatever you have, to demonstrate our support of one another and as a way to break the bias towards moms! Please include the hashtag #BreakMomBias.

You can see more of Elaine’s insights in her weekly vlog, Driving Diversity, on LinkedIn. Learn more about our Diversity Initiatives here and join our Diversity Mentor Network here.

Elaine Spector Featured in Brink News Article, “Why Is There a Chronic Lack of Diversity in the Legal Profession?”

Harrity Partner & Diversity Co-chair, Elaine Spector, was recently featured in an interview with Brink News, where she shared her thoughts on the lack of diversity in the legal field and her ideas on how to improve diversity and equity in law.

You can read the entire article on Brink’s website.

You can learn more about our Diversity Initiatives here and join our Diversity Mentor Network here.

Harrity Joins Google, Amazon, Meta & More in DEI Collective

Harrity & Harrity is excited to announce that we have partnered with Advancing Diversity Across Patent Teams (ADAPT) to bring standardization and transparency to how the patent profession measures diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and scale efforts to improve diversity of the patent bar.   

ADAPT is a collective of corporate legal teams, law firms and industry groups who have come together to address the lack of diversity in the IP profession, including LOT Network Inc., Amazon, Cruise, The Walt Disney Company, Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Uber. By spreading awareness of the issue, increasing accessibility to DEI resources and opportunities, and making it easier to participate in diversity efforts, ADAPT aims to significantly improve DEI in the intellectual property space.  

Harrity Analytics will work with data science teams from Google and other ADAPT members to conduct and publish accurate analysis of the diversity breakdown of the profession. With input from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Harrity and ADAPT aim to better visualize the DEI landscape of the talent pipeline, understand practical application of technical training for patent careers, better map out the career path for patent practitioners, and much more. ADAPT will open source the underlying data and methodology once established. 

Harrity is also collaborating with ADAPT on multiple diversity programs, removing barriers for external firms and individuals to participate in diversity efforts by creating volunteering and sponsorship opportunities and sharing templates to launch similar programs.   

“We are thrilled to be part of ADAPT, and to continue our work in tracking data statistics with regard to diversity of the patent bar,” shared Elaine Spector, Harrity Partner and Diversity Co-Chair. “This collaboration will build on our seminal work, published in ABA Landslide magazine, regarding demographics of the patent bar. It is so important that we understand whether our diversity efforts in the patent field are effective, and this collaboration will allow us to do so. It is critical to the US economy to have a diverse patent bar, so that we can expand diversity of innovation to underrepresented communities.”   

Through this collaboration, Harrity and the ADAPT consortium will create a network of practitioners passionate about improving diversity, provide insights on what the career path of an IP attorney can look like, and connect aspiring patent professionals with the organizations that can support them in their journey. This new partnership will be a huge step in changing the demographics of the patent bar to mirror those of our society, and Harrity is honored to be on the forefront of this transformation.  

Want to get involved? You can see our all of Diversity Initiatives here and join our Diversity Mentor Network here.

Elaine Spector Named WIPR Influential Woman in IP

A big congratulations to Harrity Partner & Diversity Co-chair, Elaine Spector, who has been recognized as an Influential Woman in IP in the #WIPRDiversity annual listing of the best and brightest women in the IP field.

“I am very excited to be listed as an Influential Woman in IP in the WIPR Diversity, Class of 2022. I know so many of the 50 women listed there, and I am very honored to be included among them. I am also very grateful for the time, resources, and support extended by my firm, Harrity & Harrity, LLP, in efforts to make a meaningful impact with respect to diversifying the patent bar. I couldn’t do this work without their support,” Elaine shared.

We could not think of anyone more deserving of this honor! Elaine’s passion for improving diversity of the patent bar has already had a huge impact on the field, with much more change to come. You can see our Diversity Initiatives here and join our Diversity Mentor Network here.