#BreakingTheBias: Two legal tech leaders talk about how diversity can drive success

Aimee Hibbert and Bishu Solomon Girma

Aimee Hibbert and Bishu Solomon Girma both hold senior positions within the customer success team at Access Legal, part of business software specialist, The Access Group.

Access Legal has appointed a number of female tech specialists to help deliver its vision of helping law firms to become more efficient, productive and ultimately deliver a better service to their end customers. Aimee Hibbert joined the division in July working as part of the senior leadership team and having the opportunity to build the Customer Success management team from the ground up. Bishu Solomon Girma joined in August 2021 as Head of Customer Success with the aim of driving forward a true customer-first approach using her legal industry experience in both the UK and Canada.

With International Women’s Day upon us, we celebrate Aimee and Bishu’s successes and see how they #BreakTheBias around women in leading tech roles. So, what are their thoughts on equality across industries that are often thought of as male-orientated and how has it impacted their careers?

Altering industries

For Aimee, her career journey has mainly been focused around technology so she has seen first-hand just how the industry has evolved. Explaining more, she said:

“From working both in tech and alongside law firms throughout my career, I’ve seen an increase in women holding positions of power as Partners, Directors and tech specialists. This isn’t just a box ticking exercise, but rather that women feel empowered and equipped to take on roles which they may not have considered before.

“The new generation are much more tech savvy, they don’t stick to traditional biases and the modern world has become more aware of issues surrounding diversity and inclusion which is why we are seeing the change in new recruits.

“An issue women have often faced is the perception that they are softer and more emotional when in fact it is precisely that passion and empathy along with the ability to be assertive, analytical and driven which can be a lethal combination. The inequality that was once very noticeable in certain industries is just pushing women further forward to prove our position.”

Bishu, who has seen the development of the tech industry in both the UK and Canada, added:

“In my first Legal Tech role, I joined a team that was run by two women who created a business after spotting a gap in the market. This showed me that people were recognising that industries shouldn’t be gender specific.

“Creating gender balance across any industry is crucial as it ensures that systems are designed with the needs of a diverse range of end users in mind. It is well established that businesses with diverse teams perform better because the range of perspectives, ideas and contributions create an environment that fosters better working relationships and innovation.

“While roles and industries may be male-dominated because of past hiring trends, we are starting to see a shift away from thinking that certain professions are suited best to one gender.”

Significant support

Since joining The Access Group back in 2019, Aimee has watched the company develop into the diverse and equal business it is today. Commenting on the structure of the teams and the support received, Aimee said:

“Within the senior leadership team at Access Legal, there is an even split between male and female members. The mix of genders leads to more creative problem solving and the alternative points of view leads to more considered decision making.

“The Access Group definitely isn’t a boy’s club – in fact it’s as far from that as can be. Every member of the team is heard and valued and the business as a whole is great at driving the importance of gender equality, diversity and inclusion right from the top level.”

Bishu added:

“Due to our focus on being inclusive in our language and expansive in our approach to incorporating diverse thinking, we are definitely seeing more women and people from diverse backgrounds in tech roles than before.

“However, just because we have seen a significant increase in women taking on tech roles, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue our efforts to ensure that representation continues through future recruitment and ensuring there are equitable growth opportunities for all our talented team members.”

The future of female

As the future seems bright for women in all industries, Aimee highlights the importance of continuing the conversation and acknowledgement of successful women to encourage the younger generation. She adds:

“International Women’s Day is great for celebrating and admiring women worldwide who are succeeding in roles and industries that might not have previously thought possible.

“At The Access Group I work alongside some extremely passionate and strong-willed women and am so pleased to be part of such a diverse and open-minded team. Everyone’s voice is heard and looking at how far we’ve already come, it is exciting to look to the future and how far we can get.”

Bishu comments:

“Representation is a powerful tool for transformation. The more women we elevate and celebrate, the more we set the example that women not only have a role to play in their industry, but also that they can find success along the way.

“The best way to tackle bias is to profile diverse talent and ensure the talent pipeline is rich with diverse candidates. We need to focus on what matters – helping students and young professionals to develop the skills and attributes that contribute to high performing teams. Knowing how to reflect on any assumptions that we make while hiring candidates, conducting performance assessments, and making decisions about promotions is crucial to ensuring that we don’t allow potential biases to have an impact on any decisions made.”

Learn more about The Access Group’s legal division online at www.theaccessgroup.com/en-gb/legal/.

Meet our 100 incredible leaders breaking the bias & calling for societal change this International Women’s Day

As part of our #WeAreBreakingTheBias campaign, we will be sharing the thoughts of over 100 leaders who are calling for societal change for women. We hope you will join us so we can amplify why we should all #BreakTheBias for gender equity.

VIEW OUR 100 INSPIRING LEADERS