Our story

The time for equality is now.

At the current rate of progress, it will take take 202 years to close the global gender pay gap and 108 years to close the overall gender gap. We can’t wait that long.


We are a female-owned business committed to advancing equality. Gender equality is not a female issue; it’s a social and economic imperative. The Female Quotient is advancing equality in the workplace and the world through collaboration, bringing visibility to women, activating solutions for change, and creating metrics for accountability.


Our signature pop-up experience, the FQ Lounge (former the Girls’ Lounge), is the Home of Equality for women around the world.  The first Girls’ Lounge came about spontaneously in 2012, when Shelley Zalis asked her girlfriends to walk the show floor with her at CES so she wouldn’t feel like a lone woman in a sea of businessmen. A moment turned into a movement, and the FQ Lounge has become the largest female-led community to change workplace culture.

Today, we bring the ‘Home of Equality’ to conferences, companies, and college campuses around the world. Through our FQ Lounges, we have connected over 150,000 people, created a community of women numbering 20,000 strong, and featured over 2,500 inclusive leaders as speakers. We are activating change at global events across industries, from the World Economic Forum to Cannes Lions to Art Basel.


There’s a clear business case for equality: McKinsey finds that companies that are in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams are 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability. Research from DDI shows that companies with gender diverse teams enjoy 1.7x stronger leadership, 1.4x sustained profitable growth, and 1.5x stronger growth culture. We know that equality is the right thing to do, but it’s also good for the bottom line. 

A company alone has power; collectively, we have impact. The FQ Practice helps organizations become a catalyst for change and achieve a return on equality. We are advancing equality in the workplace and in media through solutions for change, measurements for accountability, and helping companies become equality fit. We provide business leaders with research, tools, experiences to promote equality, and publish the Modern Guide to Equality, a playbook for activating change. We track progress in four key areas: parity, pipeline, policy, and purpose.


Doing good is doing well. We give back with generosity to non-profit organizations that support women through sales generated by our range of clothing and jewelry. Our collection of tees, jackets, totes, and necklaces share inspiring messages of equality — and unlock advice for the wearer. The impact of each sale reaches women and girls around the world; a generous portion of proceeds are donated to female-focused non-profit organizations, such as Charity: water.


First came IQ. Then came EQ. Now comes FQ.


Shelley Zalis

CEO, The Female Quotient

Shelley Zalis is an internationally-renowned thought leader for advancing equality in the workplace. As the first female chief executive ranked in the research industry’s top 25, she changed the game, helped elevate feminine values in the workplace and has devoted herself to becoming a mentor and role model to women and leaders in her industry.

Today, through The Female Quotient, Zalis is advancing gender equality across many industries and career levels with the FQ Lounge, pop-up experiences at conferences across the globe, such as The World Economic Forum, Cannes Lions and the Consumer Electronics Show, as well as within companies. She is also leading initiatives within corporations by activating solutions for change with The Female Quotient’s Equality Bootcamps.

Zalis is an admired speaker and member of the Washington Speakers Bureau, as well as a skilled moderator who has interviewed influencers such as Katie Couric, Halle Berry, Gwyenth Paltrow, Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington and more on topics related to equality and leadership. Zalis authors a Forbes column that provides inspiration and advice for women in the “messy middle,” middle management, who are looking to rise up into leadership positions. She is co-founder of #SeeHer, a movement led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to increase the percentage of accurate portrayals of women and girls in advertising and media. She is on the board of directors for MAKERS.

A firm believer in giving back with generosity, her legacy is to tap into the power of collaboration to transform workplace culture so that all people feel like they belong, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.You can follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.



The FQ Collection is The Female Quotient's interactive line of clothing, bags, and jewelry. Each item unlocks career advice and proceeds from each purchase go to nonprofits that support women.