Shelley Zalis, known as the “chief troublemaker,” is a pioneer for online research, movement leader, and champion of gender equality. She is an internationally renowned entrepreneur, speaker, mentor, mother, and founder and CEO of The Female Quotient.
Zalis rewrites the rules and innovates solutions to impact real change. In 2000, she left the corporate world to found OTX (Online Testing Exchange), which became one of the fastest growing research companies in the world. She sold OTX to Ipsos in 2010, and then led global innovation in more than 80 countries at Ipsos OTX.
Today, as CEO of The Female Quotient, Zalis works with Fortune 500 companies to advance gender equality across industries. The FQ’s signature pop-up experience, the FQ Lounge (formerly the Girls’ Lounge), brings a Home of Equality to major conferences, companies, and college campuses around the world. The FQ Lounge is the gathering place for leaders of all levels at events such as the World Economic Forum, Cannes Lions, Consumer Electronics Show and the Milken Institute Global Conference. Through the destination-turned-movement, Zalis has connected more than 18,000 women in business and created the largest female-led community to transform workplace culture.
Zalis is an acclaimed speaker and member of the Washington Speakers Bureau. She is also a dynamic moderator who has interviewed influencers and leaders such as Katie Couric, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Arianna Huffington, Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, and David Schwimmer. Zalis authors a Forbes column that provides advice for women in the messy middle (middle management). She is the co-founder of #SeeHer, a movement led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in advertising and media. Zalis is also on the Board of Directors for MAKERS, ColorComm and Dress for Success.
A firm believer in giving back with generosity, Zalis is not only a mentor to women around the world, but also provides time and resources to educating girls in countries such as Rwanda. She has been awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Global Marketing Leadership Award, ARF Great Minds in Innovation Award, AWNY’s Game Changer Award, and the Matrix Award.