Why Women Won’t Work for You

women work force

One of the major challenges women face is achieving equity and diversity in the workplace. Despite legislation being passed decades ago to rectify this issue, there is still huge disparity in women accessing employment.

Within the tech industry, this disparity is even greater. The tech workforce is only 19% female! With this in mind we spoke with FemTech Lab advisor, and all-around legal tech whizz, Alice Stephenson; to ask what can be done to improve women’s access to the workforce?

What are the greatest obstacles for women in the workforce?

Discrimination in the form of sexism.

Sometimes it affects men, but mostly it affects women. Particularly when women are in their thirties and assumptions are made about their intentions to have children and the impact this will have on their ability to work.

What mistakes do companies make when hiring women?

There could be so many, from the advert to making the decision.

  • A lack of diversity in hiring teams is an obvious mistakes because we all have a natural tendency to recruit people like us.
  • Unconscious bias plays a huge role in perpetuating discrimination, and most people aren’t even aware how it’s affecting them or their company.

What changes can companies make to be more inclusive?

Specific recruitment strategies could include:

  • Separating a candidate’s protected characteristics from the rest of their application when deciding who to interview
  • Peer-reviewing recruitment decisions
  • Having adverts externally reviewed to identify any indirect discriminatory language.

What piece of advice would you give to a company to improve their employment strategy for women?

Educate yourselves.

Understand where your blind spots are and how your unconscious bias is affecting your decision-making, and take steps to be better. And make sure you have women making decisions!

Alice Stephenson is a tech/IP lawyer and the Founder & CEO of Stephenson Law.

She works with lots of tech companies to help them navigate the legal challenges they face and set their businesses up for success.

Alice recently won the Women in Innovation Award 2021, as a “female founder who rejects societal norms, challenges traditions, and faces her industry with creativity”.

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