By Rachel Adamson, director of fraud and regulatory
Women outnumber men in the UK by 900,000 – but only one in five businesses are run by women.
A government-backed review to investigate barriers to female entrepreneurship, revealed the hidden potential of women in business to be worth a staggering £250bn to the UK economy.
The Rose Review concluded: ‘There is no one silver bullet that will transform the landscape for female entrepreneurs overnight. Many barriers are cultural and societal, and will take many years to overcome. However, there are real and practical steps that can be taken given the importance of this matter to the UK economy.’
My business partner Linda and I know only too well how tough it is making your way in the legal profession and setting up your own business.
Many men in our industry make their way to senior positions without having to think too hard about it, often presented with opportunities of succession or taking up equity partnerships. Recent research released by the Financial Times shows that while there are now more women than men practising the law, less than a fifth of senior partners or associates are women.
For professional women, research into financial institutional investment shows a reluctance by investors and banks to lend to women entrepreneurs.
Indeed, only nine per cent of the funding funnelled into UK start-ups goes to women-run businesses, according to the Entrepreneurs Network. Women also tend to start businesses with much less available capital than male entrepreneurs.
Against this background, how can women operate on a level playing field?
At Adkirk Law, it is all about attitudes and values. It doesn’t matter who you are as long as you believe in the same things. You can call it inclusive, we call it doing business the right way.
We put our clients first, second and third because we care. They are the reason we go to work every day. We go above and beyond for them. If you’re good enough and right for us, then it doesn’t matter about your gender.
As colleagues, we all treat each other – and our clients – with the utmost respect. We listen to them and communicate with them in a language they will understand rather than complex legal-speak. This overcomes any issues for us at Adkirk Law, but the issue of women facing unfair barriers as entrepreneurs remains. For our part, we will do everything we can to help break them down wherever they exist.