This year the theme of World Intellectual Property Day is “Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity.” Clarivate helps companies accelerate innovation, achieve long-term growth and realize sustainable success. We are proud to join the global celebration of World IP Day on April 26 by spotlighting our women IP experts whose ingenuity and talent pave the way to major breakthroughs. Director of Product Management Vanessa Clabau’s story is the first in this series, with more to follow in the coming weeks.
From an interesting job ad to a lifelong passion
With a background in Communication Sciences from the University of Antwerp, Vanessa Clabau started her career in the intellectual property (IP) industry by coincidence. After graduating in 2000, she came across an opening for an Online Trainer at CompuMark™ and applied based on her ability to meet two key criteria: fluency in English and German and willingness to travel.
As a trainer at CompuMark, Vanessa quickly uncovered a passion for the world of trademarks as she helped customers apply trademark tools to make confident brand decisions. Over the next two decades her role expanded into account management and eventually product strategy for Clarivate™ trademark search solutions. Her interest further expanded to the area of case law after Clarivate acquired Darts-ip.
Now a Director of Product Management at Clarivate, Vanessa is passionate about working hand-in-hand with international businesses to help launch and protect the brands, products and services people use in everyday life.
“Our customers and colleagues are truly inspiring. Looking after our core products and building new innovative products that bring us as a business and our customers forward is what makes me get out of bed every morning.”
Helping our customers accelerate innovation
As the product lead for Clarivate Brand Landscape Analyzer, Vanessa worked closely with Clarivate experts across data science, development, case law and user experience to bring this innovative trademark research solution to the IP market.
“What I think and hope I am doing is being the connector, translator and challenger in this project,” Vanessa explains. “From my customer-facing roles I have detailed knowledge of our trademark customers and I am not afraid to ask questions. As we developed this product, we gathered feedback and involved our experts throughout the process to unleash their expertise on finding the right solutions.”
With her deep knowledge of the trademark space, Vanessa is uniquely positioned to incorporate customer wants and needs throughout the product development process to deliver an innovative product. With Brand Landscape Analyzer, brand professionals are empowered to meet today’s challenges with greater agility, efficiency and confidence.
Yet, Vanessa’s passion for helping businesses build strong brands doesn’t stop with a product launch.
“I am always asking management and experts the ‘why’ question. Why can’t we do this or that? What if we look at it from another angle? Are there different ways of solving this and what would that take? I hope the answers to all these questions will continue to help customers accelerate innovation and creativity.”
Working with women in a field dominated by men
Within the technology industry, women make up 37% of product managers. This disparity only increases within senior roles where men make up 65% of the workforce and earn 7% more on average.
With experience working in both product and account management, Vanessa understands the value of collaborating with other women who help her see things from a different angle, are moving the business forward and have strong leadership and mentorship abilities. One such inspirational woman Vanessa has had the opportunity to work with is another Clarivate trademark expert, Margaret Goldstein.
Vanessa explains, “I believe that more women in IP leadership will inspire greater gender diversity and balance, helping to set the terms across industries”.
Vanessa advises all women and girls who are interested in joining the IP industry to be authentic and true to themselves. Her advice: “Have the strength to make decisions. It is better to admit to a wrong decision, adapt and move on from there, than to make no decisions at all.”