Women of the Australian Legal Technology Association (WALTA) have officially launched their mission to empower and inspire women in legal technology through a collective spirit of collegiality, collaboration and community. Borne out of a research paper commissioned by the Australian Legal Technology Association (ALTA), and sponsored by PEXA: ‘Diversity in Legal Tech – It’s Time for Action’, the group aims to create tangible change for women in the Australian Legal Tech community.
Presenting the report’s findings at ALTACON21, Jodie Baker, Founder & CEO at Xakia Technologies and WALTA Committee Member outlined three ‘calls to action’ – funding, female visibility and creating a voice for female founders and participants in Australian Legal Technology.
Throughout 2021, ALTA conducted ‘Think Tank’ sessions which identified initiatives for tangible and impactful change to achieve gender diversity in the Australian LegalTech landscape. “All stakeholders were given the opportunity to articulate ideas for change, and there was overwhelming alignment about what was needed to improve gender diversity in LegalTech”, says Karen Finch, ALTA Director and WALTA Committee Chair.
WALTA will kick off its program of change with the creation of the ‘WALTA Collective’; a portal that connects founders to funders and provides education, resources and training. “Funding is crucial to the survive-to-thrive transition for early-stage companies and is a critical roadblock for female founders. Only 2% of global venture capital funding finds its way to female- only founded startups [page 47]. LegalTech is no different,” says Baker. “By creating a community where founders and funders can come together, female founders can seek guidance on how to navigate this difficult stage and overcome some of the existing barriers to funding for female founders.”
WALTA will then turn its attention to the creation of a directory of LegalTech founders and professionals and improve the visibility of women across the LegalTech ecosystem where – according to the ALTA / PEXA report – women remain largely unseen. “We want to raise the visibility and profile of female LegalTech professionals and provide a means for the legal industry to consciously include diversity as part of the procurement process. By making female LegalTech leaders visible, WALTA will facilitate this change in the legal industry”, continued Finch.
WALTA announced a partnership with its official Annual Partner PEXA, in January 2022. Speaking of the Partnership, Lisa Dowie, CCO PEXA and WALTA Committee Member said “We were thrilled to sponsor the report in 2021 and are excited to continue our partnership with WALTA in 2022. PEXA is committed to creating impactful change and turn these initiatives into action.”
The group already as over 200 members and is growing fast. WALTA will launch with a live and streamed event on 28 April 2022. WALTA is led by Karen Finch, Jodie Baker, Lisa Dowie and Amanda Fajerman, and is a subcommittee under the umbrella of ALTA. If you are interested in joining WALTA or being part of sponsoring these exciting initiatives, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about attending the WALTA launch, please head to the WALTA Launch Registration page.
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