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Shelley Zalis

Shelley Zalis

Shelley Zalis is CEO of Female Quotient and Co-Founder of #SeeHer



Shelley Zalis is a thought leader for advancing equality in the workplace. The first female chief executive in the research industry’s top 25, she devoted herself to mentoring women.

Through The Female Quotient and the company’s FQ Lounges (pop-up activations at conferences), Zalis amplifies her equality message to women across many industries.

Shelley is a sought-after speaker, talking at events such as the Washington Speaker's Bureau, as well as a skilled moderator who has interviewed influencers in the lounge such as Katie Couric, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington and more on topics related to equality and leadership.

She is co-founder of #SeeHer, a movement to increase the accurate portrayal of women in advertising. She is on the board of directors for MAKERS.


What brought you to Davos 2019?

Gender equality is not a female issue; it’s a social and economic imperative. We need a space at this gathering of world leaders dedicated solely to SDG #5: Gender equality. Statistics show that female representation at the World Economic Forum rose from 17% to 22% over the past six years. In the FQ Lounge @ Davos, we were at more than 80 percent. This year, we hosted more than 100 female speakers over three days, women who are running countries and running businesses.


Defining leadership moment at Davos:

When you advance women, you advance equality. The FQ Lounge @ Davos was truly the home of equality, where world leaders all came together to activate next steps for change. It was a true testament to power of collaboration, where we aren’t just talking about the problem but creating positive, proactive solutions with measurements for accountability. Historically we’ve been creating solutions in a silo. Now we’re sharing the good, bad and the ugly—what works and what doesn’t—with one another. That is how progress happens.


Personal motivation to advocate for women and girls:

When you add more women to any equation, there’s a return on equality. However, estimates suggest that if progress continues at its current rate, it could be more than 100 years before the gender gap is closed on a global scale, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2018. We need to flip the script and better the balance, because that is how we will transform culture.


Where can people learn more about you and your key projects?

Social: @shelleyzalis and @femalequotient


Forbes column:


“When you add more women to any equation, there is a return on equality.”


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