By David Hillier
28 November 2018
Currently, the World Economic Forum predicts it could take 217 years to close the global gender pay gap, but Zara Nanu, a tech entrepreneur, thinks she can do it in less than 20.
Nanu grew up in Chișinău, the capital of Moldova that was part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991. Now, she’s in Bristol where she’s been based for 11 years, tackling pay inequality with Gapsquare, her cloud-based software business.
Gapsquare uses machine learning to analyse a company’s gender pay gap and flag opportunities to close it as they arise. For example, it can highlight when certain employees are not progressing as fast as their peers, as well as when external male candidates are recruited into more senior roles. It can also analyse at department level to see if there are certain grades which are more difficult for women or ethnic minorities to pass.
To date, she’s analysed the wages of more than 270,000 employees in the UK, and Gapsquare counts Vodafone, Condé Nast and Serco among its clients. The company is presenting in France this month, having recently finished a series of meetings and presentations in Silicon Valley, the belly of the global tech beast. “I think America is ready for us,” she says, “maybe more so than the UK. In the Bay area there are so many more women in tech than the UK.”
Nanu points to Soviet attitudes to gender equality as having a formative effect. “We had quotas around women in parliament, quotas around representation of women in any sector. Childcare was free, so my mum could go back to work six months after giving birth. When I came to the UK [in 2007] it felt like, to some extent, I was going back in time in terms of gender equality.”
Read the full article in The Guardian.