Shelley Zalis, CEO The Female Quotient & Founder, The Girls’ Lounge

For this week’s edition of FinanciElle “Statements”, I had the opportunity to interview Shelley Zalis, CEO The Female Quotient & Founder, The Girls’ Lounge.

I knew I wanted to interview her after reading about her in Geek Girl Rising – Inside the Sisterhood Shaking up Tech by Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens,

    “Building a new kind of network in which women are the insiders who pass along choice   professional leads and make strategic introductions while sipping skinny cappuccinos in their own comfortable clubhouse is exactly what Shelley Zalis envisioned when she came up with the idea for Girls’ Lounge.”

The Female Quotient is in the business of equality. It is committed to advancing diversity in the workplace through collaboration, activating solutions for change, and creating measurements for accountability. Gender equality is not only a social issue, it is an economic imperative. When you put women in any equation, the equation gets better.

I highly recommend reading The Modern Guide to Equality.

The Girls’ Lounge, powered by The Female Quotient, creates experiential pop-ups at global conferences, corporations and college campuses where women connect, collaborate and activate change together. The destination-turned-movement has become the largest community of business women rising up to transform workplace culture.

If we could have done it alone, we would have by now. There’s power in the pack. First came IQ, then came EQ, now comes FQ.

Paolina: What has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance and what did you learn?


My hardest experience is being everywhere and anywhere that our partners want us to be in order to advance equality through pop-up experiences.  So catering to global, scalable, pop-up experiences everywhere. We want to make equality ubiquitous.

Self-funding is liberating, cash flow is challenging; but, there is always a solution—especially when you color outside of the lines.

Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?


When you’re building something that doesn’t exist, there is no business plan for success. You have to make it up and follow your heart, and the numbers will follow. When you have purpose and passion, you will always go above and beyond. It’s not just about EBITDA and numbers. A great story with value will over deliver every time.

Paolina: What topics would you want to learn more about when it comes to finance and your business and why?


Self funding versus VC versus private equity versus friends and family: When do you say yes and to what?

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