Tshepo Shabangu named a World Intellectual Property Review Influential Women in IP

Spoor & Fisher is pleased to announce that the Chair of the Partnership and South Africa based Partner, Tshepo Shabangu, has been named in the World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) as one of WIPR’s influential Women in IP for 2019. She is one of 80 female leaders in IP worldwide to receive this prestigious recognition from WIPR.

WIPR Influential Women in IP is a new initiative from the World Intellectual Property Review. The initiative places a positive spotlight on the development and progress that women have made in creating, protecting and securing IP, as well as supporting and enabling them to move forward in their respective industries.

Tshepo has been involved in domestic and international trade mark registrations as well as drafting IP related agreements, trade mark audits, IP portfolio management and due diligence for over two decades. Tshepo was also involved in drafting IP related World Cup agreements for one of the government departments in South Africa. This included the granting of broadcasting rights, the employment of, amongst others, performers, dancers and artists who performed at the handover ceremony for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which is recognised as one of the most well protected global sports events.

Tshepo was also a guest lecturer at the University of Pretoria and lectured LLM students on the European Union Trade mark system. She is a member of ECTA, the International Bar Association and the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law.

Tshepo says, “When I entered the position over two decades ago there were many barriers that female practitioners encountered, and women felt that they had to act like men / be like men to be acceptable or to fit in.”

“Law firm cultures have since evolved and there is recognition that women bring certain skills which are necessary for the success of law firms. Women are generally collaborative which bodes well for team work, and possess emotional intelligence and soft skills which are more and more equated to hard technical skills and regarded as equally important in acquiring and retaining clients. At partner level and across various organisations, women occupy key positions and are chipping away at some of the archaic perceptions of the industry. Some firms have even shown to be very progressive and have introduced flexible work arrangements to retain their top female talent.”

“Can more be done? Certainly, more work needs to be done to improve the state of women in law.”

An avid believer in building strong legacies and paying it forward, Tshepo launched the mentorship programme, Lift As We Climb mentorship programme, which is used as a vehicle to mentor upcoming professionals in and outside law. This programme offers professionals, amongst others, tools to navigate challenges in their respective professions, as well as providing them with networking opportunities.

Date published: 20 May 2019
Author: Spoor & Fisher

Tags: wipr women in ip