Written by Caroline Guth December 12, 2023

Law Tech Women – A call for action.

Our guest author Caroline is a gifted networker and is very active in the legal tech scene. In the process, she always makes one discovery...

We need to talk.

At all the exciting legal tech start-up events, tech hackathons and chat gpt workshops, one thought kept coming back to me: where are all the women?

Why are legal tech start-ups predominantly founded by men? Where are all the brave women taking their ideas to market?

The experience of the Legal Tech Colab, which registers mainly male-led start-ups, is in line with the figures already known from the IT and start-up scene: the sad truth is that in 2022, only 20 percent of all start-ups were founded by women. For start-ups with an innovative business model, the participation of women is only 17.7% (source: Female Founders Monitor 2020 and 2022). In general, the proportion of women in the IT sector is just 17% (source: “Women in Tech” study by the Institute for Innovation and Technology (iit) Berlin on behalf of the eco association).

Practice early.

The reasons for this often lie in structural conditions and the perpetuation of existing stereotypes. 

First and foremost, differences in the upbringing of boys and girls set the stage for the development of interests in adulthood: while boys play with diggers, girls are regularly given cooking or baking toys and play with dolls (see the 2018 study by Kollmayer et al: Parents’ judgments about the desirability of toys for their children: Associations with Gender Role Attitudes, Gender Typing of Toys, and Demographics).

This may lead to different perceptions of one’s own abilities in the long run (see the 2018 study by Bian et al: Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests).

Although these stereotypes are increasingly being broken down, they are still deeply rooted in our society.

The industry’s one-sidedness

There is also a lack of female role models in the tech industry. The When and Why of STEM Gender Gap, a study commissioned by Microsoft in 2018, reveals the impact that role models have on young people’s interests. According to the study, 44% of girls and young women with a direct STEM role model are interested in STEM subjects, compared to only 22% of respondents without such a role model.

Numerous of my conversations with women at events on the subject also confirm this:

Many women associate the term “technology” with a highly complex field that they have never been exposed to.

Women are more likely to be attracted to visual representation and creativity, which may seem at odds with conventional technical processes.

Finally, women’s greater need for security is also a disincentive to starting a business. Particularly with regard to family planning, a risky and time-consuming start-up seems to be an obstacle and/or a concern for potential female entrepreneurs.

Event “Law Tech Women” – Lets join forces!

To counter this trend and provide a platform for women interested in setting up their own company, Charlotte Falk from the Legal Tech Colab, Dr. Christiane Zedelius from Dentos, legal designer Astrid Kohlmeier and the tech company Fides joined forces. Together they invited female legal tech enthusiasts to a get-together at Fides in Munich under the motto “Law Tech Women”.

Charlotte Falkis focused in a little crowd,  listening to a speaker
Charlotte Falk | Image: Caroline Guth
Dr. Christiane Zedelius talking to another women
Dr. Christiane Zedelius | Image Caroline Guth

After a short welcome by Christiane and Charlotte, the two keynote speakers provided a lot of inspiration and talked about their careers:

Lisa from Fides emphasises the importance of working in a well-functioning, complementary team. In the field of legal tech, it is necessary to find a balance between legal expertise, technical specialists and a good dose of entrepreneurial spirit.

Lisa Gradow | Image: Caroline Guth

Astrid talked about the exciting opportunities arising from the fusion of traditional legal practice and design. Especially in the complex field of law, there is a high demand for user-oriented tools that are understandable and appealing.

Astrid Kohlmeier | Image: Caroline Guth

With lots of new ideas in the bag, it was time for networking. While enjoying tasty snacks and drinks, many contacts were made, ideas were exchanged and one or two foundations for future cooperation were laid.

It was a perfect opportunity to exchange views on the challenges the attendees had experienced, explore opportunities for improvement and brainstorm together on how to achieve more together.

Call for action!

In response to my question about what needs to change to encourage more women to create legal tech start-ups, I received many suggestions from the participants:

First and foremost, events like ‘Law Tech Women’ are an excellent way to reduce fears and hurdles, connect women and support each other.

To take the sting out of the intimidating term ‘tech’, training programs could be offered with a particular focus on ‘no code tools’. This would make it easier to get started and enable potential founders without deep IT skills to create a prototype.

There should also be a greater focus on opportunities in legal design, as this also allows women with a strong creative streak to help shape the legal market.

A number of structural changes are needed to improve the situation in the long term and in a sustainable way. The interests of both sexes need to be promoted equally from an early age. Teachers and parents should be aware of their role as role models and more actively promote interest in IT and entrepreneurship.

Finally, secure childcare would be one of the prerequisites for reconciling entrepreneurship and family planning.


All in all, there is still a lot to be done to increase the number of female founders.

The Legal Tech Colab has set itself the goal of attracting even more women as founders. You can look forward to more exciting events on the topic of “Law Tech Women”.

Special thanks to the law firm Dentos for sponsoring the Legal Tech Women event.

What needs to change to improve the situation for women in startups? Let us know what you think and get in touch with us!

Caroline Guth is a lawyer, photographer and co-founder of the women’s legal network ‘HER LAW – the legal network’, which aims to bring women together to inspire and support each other. She is passionate about legal tech and the opportunities it brings to the legal market. As a freelancer at the Legal Tech Colab, she addresses the issue of the lack of women in the start-up and legal tech market.