22 March 2021

Gendertech: technology to help avoid discriminatory biases in the legal sector

Philip HerreraBy Philip Herrera


Lawyers practicing in Spain (and in most countries of the world) agree in a majority way that the equality between men and women must be a priority objective to be achieved. It is the different operators of the legal sector who must promote and prioritize gender equality in the exercise of their work, in order to avoid, among other things, inequalities, sexist behaviors, wage gaps, imbalances in the work-life balance and other invisible barriers. that in the Latest News are real and are present.

For example, the so-called “glass roof”Or how lawyers are better placed than lawyers to rise to high professional positions or that they think that not having children or family members to care for is an important aspect of professional success. Even so, despite still being a minority in managerial positions and not appearing in the rankings, it is also necessary to highlight that some firms have female figures who play a key role in generating business.

Having said that, How can we solve this problem of inequality between lawyers? Well, one of them could be the application of technology that prevents this problem from remaining latent.

As has already been discussed several times in this blog, technology can increase the precision and efficiency of legal firms, perform tedious and redundant tasks in order to allow us to focus on the most complex ones, improve the decision-making process and, in general, make the life and work of the legal professional much easier. And if it was not enough, technology also can help promote gender equality. In fact, Internet access, automation, and other digital tools have helped remove some of the barriers that prevented the lawyers from seeking training opportunities, participating in their corresponding office and, ultimately, asserting themselves and having their voices heard.

In consecuense, technology can help us avoid these discriminatory biases in the legal sector. At this point is when we have to talk about the concept of gendertech, or what is the same, the technology development and implementation offering solutions to accelerate progress towards gender equality.

To be more specific, and focusing on some negative aspects such as the aforementioned "glass ceiling" and the worrying wage gap, it is necessary to express that more and more legal firms and companies, especially from developed countries, are putting in march measures to promote equality and diversity.

Although, to be honest, we are still a long way from reaching the goal we have pursued. On this we find worrying data such as that 7 out of 10 disadvantaged people in the world are women (according to Organization of the United Nations) or that “despite the fact that many international agreements affirm their human rights, women are much more likely than men to be poor and illiterate, have less access to property, credit, training and employment (according to the Population Fund of the United Nations).

Along the same lines, the German multinational SAP SE concluded, after analysis, that it is not really being possible to increase the number of women in workforce or managerial positions, even having promoted gender equality policies. This is due to the unconscious biases of the labor sector as mentioned by the Teams and Talent news portal. Also very present and marked inclinations in the legal profession.

However, faced with these discriminatory situations, it appears gendertech offering under its concept technological solutions to accelerate progress towards gender equality.

A prime example is the one driven by SAP SE whose main objective is to eliminate these biases of the companies. In this case, through the use of Artificial Intelligence The intention is to eliminate any type of sexist language across ads of offers of employment. Also, through the use of machine learning, they are intended to find ideal candidates, adjusting salaries to the level of difficulty of the tasks and responsibility, independently of the gender.

Related to the above, Jared Coseglia, the founder and CEO of TRU Staffing Partners, a consulting firm specialized in the search and selection of personnel with a technological profile for the legal sector, presented its 10 predictions for the labor market during 2021 in the legal - technological field leastacando the diversity as a necessity. In mid-2020, many selection processes required a minimum of diverse candidates (especially by gender) before the final selection. And in this one 2021 diversify hiring staff it will be a matter of reputation for law firms, an improvement in the acquisition of legal talent and greater ability to retain employees.

Another aspect to highlight is that female talent is already beginning to be recognized in the legal sector through, for example, lists, such as the one prepared by the International Association of Legal Technology (ILTA) who named five women, from places ranging from Canada to Kenya, such as the More Influencers in Legaltech by 2021.

Now, continuing our way through the private sphere, we must destacar other examples representative of gendertech that are being promoted:

  1. The initiative launched by Kristen sonday, founder of the Legaltech Paladin, which together with 6 other startups seek to promote the development of companies in the industry whose founders are normally underrepresented people, with special attention to gender and specifically that lawyers reach high professional and managerial positions.
  2. The Spanish Legaltech Women's Digital Rights that seeks to fight sextortion, erasing from the webs and social networks the violations of women's rights on the Internet.
  3. Peruvian Legaltech epikeia what are you looking for provide automated legal assistance to women in Peru at the time of claiming the acknowledgment of paternity and the corresponding alimony.
  4. Grandes female leaders y experts en gendertech as Veronica Pedrón Pardo, Sara Molina Perez-Tome o Mayra Ariñez See that regularly and disinterestedly share information, webinars and generate content on the subject, among other things, with the intention of making visible how through the technology development and implementation progress can be accelerated towards gender equality (Here you can see an example in the live program on technology, legal innovation and trends for the legal sector TILT LIVE).
  5. El collaboration agreement between legaltechies Academi and the initiative Women Leaders of the Americas, from the Documentation Sciences Foundation, to promote female leadership and against gender discrimination in digital transformation processes. That way, Legaltechies Academy offers 20 scholarships to Women Leaders of the Americas for the GenderTech Program, where students learn about the use and implementation of technology against gender discrimination from the legal sector and beyond.

As we can see, there are already several initiatives, projects, companies, professionals and referents in the private sector that are promoting and making visible everything that the Gendertech concept encompasses. Now let's go to the public realm where we can also destacar propositions of the following structures:

  1. UNICEF that has detected the existence of a digital divide that discriminates against girls, since they have lower levels of access and use of digital technology than children and often do not benefit from it in the same way as children. For this reason, they are developing, on the one hand, digital solutions focused on the reality of girls and, on the other hand, doing user tests of digital products with girls.
  2. British society Gender Tech Enterprises who is creating new solutions to accelerate progress towards gender equality, prevent abuse, exploitation and sexual harassment. Therefore, its ultimate goal is to harness the power generated by digital technology to accelerate social change and evolve towards a world where there is real and effective gender equality (it must be a lived reality).
  3. United Nations University at Macao which has a laboratory that is working on taking advantage of the use of ICTs to address urgent gender problems such as forced labor and gender violence, among others, with the ultimate goal of working towards justice and gender equality and empowerment of the woman.

En conclusionDespite being Gendertech a very new and initial concept, it has a very marked purpose which is to develop and implement technology that offers solutions to accelerate progress towards gender equality. And as we see, there are already public and private examples of this kind worldwide, non-discriminatory uses of technology in both legal and business areas, non-discriminatory technological developments and solutions, and great professionals and experts in the field who understand that through technology gender equality can be achieved, especially since equality towards women is progress for all.

Gendertech will undoubtedly bring a change that will give much to talk about and will be key to achieving what was stated by Kofi Annan, former UN secretary: “equality for women must be a central component in any attempt to solve social, economic and social problems. politicians".

Lawyer and consultant. Partner in legaltechies, an international consulting firm specialized in Legaltech and digital transformation services.

Philip Herrera
Partner in legaltechies
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