One night in May, a crowd of about 50 lawyers — almost all of them women — gathered at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., for a program titled, “The Road to Chief Counsel or Partnership in the World of Intellectual Property.” The seven women behind the program know what they’re talking about: One heads patents at Google Inc. and another heads litigation at Apple Inc.

They call themselves Chipsters — a sort of acronym for chief IP counsel — and several years ago they set out to help each other, and other women, thrive in Silicon Valley’s notoriously male-dominated business culture.

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