In the UK, women currently earn only 81p to every £1 earned by a man. The 29% difference is the gender pay gap, and it’s what Gapsquare is here to do something about.
What/who is Gapsquare?
Gapsquare is a tech start up that supports companies in analysing, understanding and tackling wage transparency – as a starting point, the gender pay gap as new regulations came in this year that state that companies over 250 employees in the UK have to report. But also looking at pay transparency more broadly, around ethnicity, diversity and Fair Pay. Our team have a vision, a world where workplaces are fair, unbiased and provide equal opportunities for all their employees. To do this, we bring together tech and equalities expertise to create our game-changing analytical tool.
A female-founding tech company?!
Yes! We tackle low representation of women across the board in tech!
Zara originally set up the company after hearing that the World Economic Forum predicted that it would take 117 years before the gender pay gap could be closed – this number has now gone up 100 years. That’s right, we are 217 years away from a gender pay gap free world! Zara knew that this wasn’t going to be good enough – for her daughters, or for any of the young women we know and work with on a daily basis. She was going to find a way to cut this timeframe by 200 years.
Our plans …
We started off looking at the gender pay gap, but when listening to clients, they wanted help understanding pay more broadly. So, we are now supporting companies in analysing and understanding the ethnicity pay gap. Gapsquare aims to tackle inequalities across industries, levels and across nations (We’ve worked in Africa, the USA and Germany to name a few) and will not stop until 217 years of pay inequality are brought down to just 17!
We are also using data to identify and tackle key issues in industries causing pay inequalities. If we know the key issues commonly facing certain types of businesses in advance, those companies can be proactive in preventing equality issues from arising. The plan for Gapsquare is create workplaces that are self-monitoring around their pay gaps and therefore ultimately, Gapsquare will not be necessary any more. At the moment, we’re a long way off.
The biggest struggles we face today …
The biggest struggle for a female founding, equalities led tech-start up? Investment.
It’s widely acknowledged that it’s hard to get investment as a woman in business – Zara has even encountered direct discrimination in the Venture Capital and business worlds – as one Times article recently shared “At a networking event for start-up founders in London last year, one investor asked her to bring him a glass of wine.” She has been treated as a member of the waiting staff whilst attending networking events and conferences and has encountered resistance to a lack of a male CEO whilst pitching for funds.
This has made getting the right investment a challenge, but we are thrilled that since last year, we have grown in size by over 300% and has worked with over 120 clients, including law firms, international NGOs and public sector bodies, is doing so as a bootstrapped company – with no investment, on the income that the tool brings in and the passion and drive of the Gapsquare team.
Our biggest success?
We were thrilled to be invited to Berlin, as part of a Start Up Accelerator programme that focused on tech companies that empower women. So we had two months of working with Vodafone in Germany, helping scale up and expand our product and impact.
We were also invited to New York last year as part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SOLVE programme, to help solve the global challenge of how women and girls can use technology to fully participate and prosper in the economy.
Soon, we are off to Paris to speak at the World Pensions Forum on how we can use data to close the gender pap gap and increase the number of women on boards.
We are on the cusp of something great … and challenging the way people think about women in tech in the process … stay tuned!
Thank you ladies, looking forward to working with you this year.