Brave Commerce Podcast: Driving Gender Equality and Diversity in Business

Shelley Zalis of The Female Quotient on the importance of embracing failure as a stepping stone to success

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On this episode of Brave Commerce, Shelley Zalis, founder and CEO of workplace equality firm The Female Quotient, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to discuss the importance of gender equality and diversity in business.

Zalis begins by sharing her personal experiences as one of the two women on a board of 25 men, shedding light on her journey to founding The Female Quotient. She emphasizes how, rather than waiting for change to happen, she took the initiative to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the corporate world long before it was widely recognized as a priority.

Drawing from a pivotal experience when she gathered a group of women at a male-dominated convention, Zalis shares how this moment of collective empowerment became the catalyst for The Female Quotient. She emphasizes how this experience highlighted the power of women working together, challenging the status quo of competition, and promoting a culture of collaboration and shared success.

Finally, Zalis concludes with her approach to success—”If you don’t fail, you don’t succeed”—highlighting the importance of embracing failure as a stepping stone.

Key takeaways:

  • Waiting for the right time doesn’t bring change; it’s initiative and action that do.
  • The potential for faster change increases when existing norms are actively challenged.
  • A decade ago, diversity, equity and inclusion weren’t business priorities. Today, they must be central to all sectors.