Women’s History Month at the USPTO

♪ ♪ March is Women’s History Month, a time when we reflect upon
the tremendous contributions of women to our nation. This year is
particularly important for those of us who
serve the American people, because this year’s theme
honors women in public service and government. While it is not possible to
recognize the contributions of each woman
at the USPTO, this video highlights the story
of Marilyn Ricks-Beach. When orders come in, this
is where the magic starts. I came to the USPTO in 1980 as a GS-2, a file clerk
working at one of the — They used to call them groups. They are now called
technology centers. The position really
was a temporary position. Still here in the agency
like 37 years later. She’s always
been my inspiration. I always look up to her
because she’s my older sister. [Laughing] KEITH: I’ve known Marilyn
for probably 20 years, and I worked with
her for 12 years, and then she
became to be the boss. I started in the
Patent and Trademark Office. I came into a mechanical group, and she was one of the clerical
people in that same group, so you could say I’ve
known her my whole career. MARILYN: Good morning,
Director Lee. – Hi. I’m Marilyn.
– You’re Marilyn. – Yes.
– Great to meet you. Nice to meet you. TED:
Marilyn’s growth has certainly
inspired me just generally. It’s very impressive. I really like to
see people move up, you know, not through any
kind of chain advancement, but through their own initiative and take on more and
more responsibilities, and she certainly does that. MARILYN: I’ve been
fortunate enough to work in a lot of different
parts of the agency, and in the last year I
got a different position and I became a program analyst for the Office
of Public Records. This office provides certified
and uncertified copies, and these certified
and uncertified copies are used for filing for courts. Basically, it’s
protecting the property rights. This is what a certified
copy of a application — and each
certified officer signs. They apply the gold seal. ♪ ♪ TED: She has developed
a tremendous amount of confidence and expertise. She is our go-to person. She’s a very hard worker, and she also is a
great teacher, too. She’s a go-getter. She’s serious about
getting the work done and meeting the
production goals, and if she can help you
as one of her employees, she’ll help you move along, too. – …off of the paper to the —
– Yeah. TRAYNA: She might
tell me about a job, a vacancy announcement that’s
available that I can apply for. She’ll say, “You could do
that. You could do that.” She’s very strong
and very smart, okay, and very dedicated to her job. She’s there for
everybody. Seriously. I really don’t
know how she does it. She bowls. She
gets her grandkids. She has a son that
just went off to college. She comes down. She
checks on me and my family. I want some of her energy. MARILYN: Being a woman at the
Patent and Trademark Office, there are a lot
of opportunities. There are a lot of
different programs. There are a lot of organizations
that you can really get involved in. I was a part of Women’s
Executive Leadership Program, and through that program
I got a lot of training. If I hadn’t been
in that program, I know I would not have applied
for some of the positions and taken some of the
risks to try to move forward. I think what’s kept me at PTO
for this long is the fact that PTO is so totally different. Anything that’s invented, it’s
coming through this agency. Somebody trademarks
something, that registration is coming through this agency. Being a part of a agency
that’s really helping to shape the world from a intellectual
property standpoint is a great place to be. We all understand how
important our customers are. We value our customers, and being a part of information
dissemination, you know, is rewarding. And every part of the
organization, every part, is a reflection
of the agency, so — Exactly. — this is
critically important. – So thank you.
– Thank you. – Thank you for what you do.
– Thank you. – Really wonderful. Thank you.
– Thank you. This year’s theme for
Women’s History Month is “Working to Form
a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public
Service and Government.” I would like to proudly
recognize the work of women such as Marilyn, whose
career, like many others here, highlights the vital role
that women play in support of our agency’s mission. Every day, women at the
USPTO are making a difference as a result of their hard work. The women of the
USPTO serve with dedication and distinction that
inspires me every day. I am also proud of
the USPTO community, which encourages employees to
achieve a work-life balance with flexible work hours and
alternative work schedules. And, as the first woman to have
the honor of leading the USPTO, I would like to encourage
all women throughout our agency to help each other and further
increase the number of women in public service roles. ♪ ♪

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