Dr. Zara Nanu is the CEO of Gapsquare, offering diversity and equality data intelligence through innovative technology. Zara sits on the Global Future Council on New Agenda for Equity and Social Justice at World Economic Forum, has spoken and written for various global equity strategy organizations, and leads Gapsquare as part of the UN Global Compact Network UK (GCN UK).
Zara Nanu has long been a powerful advocate for workplace equality and wider fair pay. Starting her career combating human trafficking and campaigning on women’s rights issues, Zara is now at the forefront of the push for technology to build more inclusive workplaces. In this interview, she explains what Gapsquare has to offer and what’s next for the startup.
E-3 Magazine: What does Gapsquare offer?
Zara Nanu: Gapsquare represents leadership in fair pay through tech, our intelligent and intuitive analytics software, tailored consultancy services, and up-to-date research. We empower companies and HR teams to make diversity and inclusion the cornerstone of their organizations. We are intelligently building a world where work is inclusive, where pay meets value and diverse talent thrives.
How does your solution work?
Nanu: Our FairPay Pro software makes data analytics simple. It allows businesses to input their workforce data and break down, analyze and track pay disparities across demographics such as gender, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation. Being able to examine this in detail and focusing on making improvements can optimize hiring, promotion, diversity and inclusion, and spending in rewards and incentives. Our software, coupled with guidance from our team of experts, produces practical insights to support our clients in focusing on what really matters – implementing sustainable change.
What are the customer-side requirements?
Nanu: What we are seeing now is a real push for diversity and inclusion in the workplace for several reasons, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes practical business sense. Having a diverse workforce allows your organization to think outside the box. Furthermore, it has been proven to increase financial revenue and innovation, amongst other key factors. It is also hugely important to younger generations that employers align with their values. Since they are the future of work, employers are keen to understand how they can meet these needs now.
Why did you start Gapsquare?
Nanu: For the past 15 years, I have worked on the proliferation of women’s economic rights in my home country of Moldova, the U.K., and across the United States. I realized that there was a lack of progression opportunities for women. They were often stuck in low-paid roles with no room for growth. This led to the vision behind Gapsquare: Providing an innovative solution that ensures all work is fair, so that companies can focus on performance, productivity, and building inclusive teams.
How could your solution potentially help customers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and the different challenges of reopening?
Nanu: The global pandemic has exacerbated and exposed inequalities that have always existed, so businesses are more aware of these issues and want to know how they can improve. A shift to remote working has led companies to question whether everyday office working is essential and whether implementing inclusive hybrid working policies is a viable option. This could make things easier for parents, particularly working mothers, and would play a role in minimizing the gender pay gap. Our research conducted in October 2020 shows that flexible work improves the relationship between employer and employee, increases employee engagement, and can even save money on future recruitment and training costs.
How are you connected to SAP?
Nanu: We’re launching SAP SF HRIS system integration next month. This will allow a seamless transfer of data between applications and provide current SAP SuccessFactors customers with all the benefits of our software and services in a streamlined way. Watch this space!
How has SAP.io’s involvement impacted your journey?
Nanu: We are pleased to be part of SAP.io’s Spring 2021 Future of Work Cohort, alongside other amazing startups. We have always admired SAP’s commitment to equality and sustainability, so it is a pleasure to be working with them. Our team has been attending events and workshops hosted by SAP, which have been very informative for us.
What’s next for Gapsquare?
Nanu: We are looking forward to our integration with SAP! Looking longer term, we are constantly working to improve our software in order to make it as intuitive and practical as possible by implementing feedback from our clients. For instance, our tech team is continuing to build new functionality based on client needs such as adjusted pay gap analysis, trend analysis, workforce planner modules, equal pay audit functionality, and much more. We are also adapting to the demand for intersectional analysis, going beyond gender pay and looking at areas such as the ethnicity pay gap, the disability pay pap, and building flexible, hybrid working policies that are suitable for all.