The UK-IL Women Leading Innovation Network is proud to partner with Shoosmiths UK; and specifically Michal Freeman-Shoor – Principal Associate.
Michal is a dual-qualified lawyer, in both the UK and Israel, and co-heads the Israel Desk. She advises public and private companies and investors on all types of corporate transactions including capital markets, private equity & venture and growth capital. She has extensive experience advising on M&A and takeovers, with a particular focus on cross-border transactions.
Among her numerous achievements Michal was nominated as a Finalist in the Women in Business Awards 2019, the Woman in Law Award 2020 and is a ‘Back to Law’ Ambassador at the Law Society regularly mentoring women lawyers and entrepreneurs.
Read on her for an in depth Q&A with Michal, discussing her personal contribution and efforts towards women’s advocacy in the workplace:
Diversity in any sector is crucial but it plays a significant role when ensuring the most innovative solutions are sought. Limiting your creative pool of knowledge will inevitably limit the potential outcome of any project and the audience it aims to connects with. We need to support more diverse cultures within the technology industry in order for it to grow without alienating half its customer base. This includes supporting and encouraging those women who are already in the industry and offering their individual imaginative perspectives to drive truly dynamic solutions. It has already been proven that increasing gender diversity leads to businesses exceeding their financial targets. It’s a no brainer! We still need more mentors in this space to encourage women to excel. The result of increased diversity will benefit the entire sector and I am passionate about showing my support.
In my own personal experience, our biggest barrier to our success is the lack of opportunities to showcase our abilities and create meaningful business allies. Traditionally women are quick to criticise themselves and play down their accomplishments and strengths and usually this means that their access to funding which is vital for scaling up their business is scarce. In addition, the lack of woman in executive roles in tech and finance means that woman find it much harder to see role models which they can look up to and learn from. By promoting mentoring, providing meaningful networking opportunities and support, and by creating a safe harbour for sharing challenges and know-how of the fundraising process I have been very fortunate to see many of my mentees create meaningful business relationships allowing their businesses to grow and scale up. Seeing my mentees gain the confidence to blow their own trumpets and have the courage and drive to fight for their place in this space and succeed is very rewarding.
As Co-Head of Shoosmiths Israel desk I am delighted to lead the firm’s partnership with the UK-Israel Tech Hub, actively promoting women in the tech industry in both the UK & Israel and supporting female founders. We want to increase women’s visibility in this sector and do so by facilitating access to investment, insights and advice.
A few years ago Shoosmiths launched our own platform, spHERe, to support and promote female founders and women in venture capital. spHERe’s goal is to help women to be successful through creating a forum for more meaningful networking opportunities within the VC space and to help address the disparities that exist between female and male entrepreneurs. We aim to explore the ways in which we can break down the barriers to making entrepreneurship more accessible to women, increasing funding access to start-up and growth businesses as well as addressing society’s role towards gender typical roles and unconscious bias that have created barriers to entry for women.
Building a UK-Israel network for women and those championing them seems an obvious next step for us. Combining our existing support for UK-Israel Tech Hub with our proven desire to increase opportunities for knowledge sharing and learning between UK & Israel, Shoosmiths hopes to increase the visibility of women in tech and innovation.
Our support for the UK-IL Women Leading Innovation Network will create real business and investment opportunities for more female founders in tech.