Kate (right) and Clare (left) have very strong legs to be able to hold this pose.

Kate (right) and Clare (left) have very strong legs to be able to hold this pose.

Hello, we’re Clare and Kate the cofounders fo She Wins. The reasons for setting up She Wins are very personal so we want to share them with you here. It’s so important to both of us that women are empowered to negotiate on their own behalf. read on to find out what we were doing before and why She Wins exists now.

What were you both doing before you founded She Wins?

Clare - I have a really keen interest in solving social problems at scale with technology. Before She Wins (2012) I co-founded Code Club a network of over 14,000+ free after-school Code Clubs for children to teach them the basics of coding and inspire them to build their ideas with code. I led Code Club in a merger with the Raspberry Pi Foundation where I stayed working on building the community before leaving to spend a year searching for the next big problem I wanted to help solve. That's when I met Kate!

Kate - I've always been fascinated by people and how they work inside a company. While still in University I was Head of HR at a tech company that I grew from 6 to over 150 people during her tenure. After understanding how to build great teams, I moved to Berlin and then San Francisco where I fell in love with customer and product development. After moving to London I founded mental health start up '87 Percent' where I was Chief Product Officer and lead development of three products from scratch to first revenue. I left after two years to start She Wins with Clare.

Why did you set up She Wins?

Kate learnt a big lesson about negotiating for her value with her previous co-founder - she ended up owning very little of the company she built from scratch and after two years of constant negotiation she left. She decided to investigate why women tend to feel less comfortable and are less successful at advocating for their value and while doing her research interviewing 50 women she met Clare.

Clare told Kate all about the many times she had negotiated on her own behalf, how uncomfortable she'd felt an how she had even dropped her rates at the last minute when self doubt attacked. Clare often had someone keeping her accountable when negotiating, recognising that it's much harder to back out if you've told someone what you're asking for.

Through our research with a further 600 women we have discovered that most women do not feel comfortable asking for their true value and most businesses do not value, negotiate and compensate women in the same way they do men - the result is the gender pay gap.

Ultimately our aim is to close the gender pay gap by changing the way women and businesses negotiate with each other through online courses, company audits and training programs.

Clare Sutcliffe