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The Gender Index

Diversity and inclusion are integral to Shoosmiths’ strategy. Our ambition is to continue to build a diverse and ambitious workforce that reflects all backgrounds and talents, one that is supportive and inclusive, and recognises and nurtures talent. As part of the firm’s continued efforts, Shoosmiths has become a sponsor of The Gender Index (TGI) report.

TGI was established to create a benchmark for the current level of activity undertaken by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK that are owned and led by female founders. Created by UK company data platform mnAI, it uses varied sources of data to establish an inclusive, accessible and detailed annual research study of gender disaggregated data of the UK’s SMEs. This work aims to identify the gender gap between male and female founders and shed light on the economic considerations and impact of female owned and led businesses on a local and national basis.

Through supporting TGI, Shoosmiths hopes to play its part in building a more detailed picture of where there are gender gaps and improve the quality of data and analysis available, to ensure greater gender equality in the SME space. Shoosmiths will also use the mnAI platform to review its own approach to its supply chain and how it can further support female led businesses.

This builds on Shoosmiths’ spHERe network, supporting female founders and venture capitalists within the venture capital (VC) space. spHERe’s goal is to help women to be successful through creating a forum for meaningful networking opportunities, helping to address the disparities that exist between female and male entrepreneurs.

In 2021, Shoosmiths held an ‘Investing in Women’ event to mark the second anniversary of The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship. This report highlighted that up to £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men.

Helen Burnell, principal associate, said:

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Our partnership with The Gender Index is the next natural step in addressing wider disparity across the UK – raising awareness of irrefutable facts of the inequality between male and female led businesses in order to start a dialogue to action real change. By bringing together influencers in academia, private sector, public sector and retail banking, the Gender Index and its steering group will be a game changer – something that Shoosmiths is very proud to support.

Helen Burnell, Shoosmiths

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