Ester Marchetti – Co-Founder, Bolt Insight

Statistics are clear: from the fact that it will take 134 years to close the gender gap, to the gender data gap, where women’s circumstances are ignored when it comes to healthcare, safety and other key matters, to the double burden and impossible expectations placed on women by our society. There is no shying away from acknowledging gender bias is a fact, and that we all have a role to play in taking the incremental progress happening in some pockets of society, and keep driving change.

Also, as a tech founder, I am aware I am playing against the odds: in Europe, only 9% of CxO positions at start-ups and 6% of CEOs are female. Of all funds raised by European VC-backed companies in 2018, a staggering 93% went to all-male founding teams, and founding for all women teams is in decline.

At Bolt Insight, we harness the power of data to connect with and listen to audiences that matter, and there is no better way to understand how professional women are feeling than asking their unfiltered, direct opinion. This is not a “women’s problem”, but a problem organisations, culture, and society are causing that impacts half of our workforce deeply. It’s a call to action for leaders to look at ways to adjust working cultures and processes to help everyone feel included and able to contribute to the best of their ability.

Personally, I have worked in organisations where equality and inclusivity were at the forefront and I witnessed first-hand the positive impact it had on productivity, retention and business results too. It has made me passionate to dig deeper and learn more, hence it has been an absolute pleasure for Bolt Insight to partner with Shape Talent to deliver this work. It is my hope it will spark a conversation and more importantly translate these powerful insights into action for all leaders to change the status quo.