Home Tech Gapsquare founder Zara Nanu recognised in Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours list

Gapsquare founder Zara Nanu recognised in Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours list


A Bristol-based entrepreneur who founded a tech company to help businesses comply with gender pay gap regulations has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours list.

Dr Zara Nanu established Gapsquare in 2016 after hearing the World Economic Forum’s prediction that it would take 217 years before the gender pay gap would close. The company, which was acquired by London-based online HR resource firm XpertHR in 2021, uses artificial intelligence and data analysis to help companies comply with gender pay gap regulations.

She was awarded the accolade for services to tackling global workplace inequalities and promoting fairness and inclusion.

According to Dr Nanu, her passion for diversity and inclusion began in Moldova, where she was born. It was here she worked to bring an end to exploitative people trafficking rings which forced women into sweatshops.

She said: “From my work in Moldova, to using technology to tackle inequality with Gapsquare, I have been focused on creating a better world of work, one that has fairness at its core and is not held back by patriarchal structures.

“It is an honour to have this work recognised and I am incredibly grateful for the nomination.”

Dr Nanu said it was “heartening” to see her work, and the values it represents, “placed firmly” on the national agenda – but warned the gender pay gap had worsened over the pandemic.

“Our work is by no means complete; the impact of the pandemic means that the time it will take to close the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years,” she said.

The entrepreneur is now working to establish Gapsquare to the US as well as expanding the business in the UK. Gapsquare has already helped more than 80 organisations in Britain and counts Wieden + Kennedy, Condé Nast and Accenture among its customers.

Dr Nanu is also involved in several other organisations; she is chair of Bristol’s Women in Business Task Group, which explores issues for women in the workplace and aims to address them, and is a member of the Global Future Council on Equity and Social Justice at the World Economic Forum. She was also recently appointed to the Shinkwin Commission, focusing on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

She added: “In a time where we can send people to Mars and talk about self-driving cars, we should be using the data and technological advancements available to us to make gender pay parity a key business issue.

“While fixing pay inequality is no silver bullet, it is a vital step that many organisations can take towards building a better future. I hope with this MBE, the growing global work of Gapsquare, and the positive changes many businesses have already taken, I can be part of the action that gets us to that future, sooner than later.”

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