As Michelle Williams accepted her Primetime Emmy award Sunday evening for Lead Actress in Limited Series/Movie, she gave the speech that is now featured on the Instagram account of The Female Quotient, an international business starting to make its way onto college campuses.
"When you put value into a person, it empowers that person to get in touch with their own inherent value," she said.
Dedicated to promoting gender equality and female empowerment in the workplace, The Female Quotient was started to inspire and uplift high-level women working in high-level companies — but it is now incorporating college students into its program through the new FQ Lounge @ Campus initiative. Discussions about a chapter at UNC began in February, and it is now active on campus.
Chief Executive Officer Shelley Zalis founded the company in 2012 after the Consumer Technology Association’s annual Consumer Electronics Show convention. Not wanting to feel like the only woman in a room full of 200,000 businessmen, Zalis asked her female friends to join her in walking the conference floor, and The Female Quotient was born as a platform to invite collaborative and productive conversation about being a woman in the workplace.
“Long story short, 50 women showed up to meet her to walk the conference floor with her, and they all walked it together, and everyone turned heads and said, ‘Who are these 50 women?’ It was just this highly visible celebration of women in tech and a showcase of the female presence that was there,” said Heather Logan, the strategic partnerships lead of The Female Quotient, who oversees the FQ Lounge @ Campus initiative.
The Female Quotient is best known for its “lounges,” which are pop-up workshops at major events around the world, including Cannes Film Festival, Advertising Week in New York City, SXSW and even one held with Michelle Obama at International Women’s Day.
As of 2018, these renowned lounges started making their way onto college campuses through FQ Lounge @ Campus. After finding success with women in executive-level positions, The Female Quotient decided to expand into entry-level positions by partnering with universities all around the world.
“It really happened organically. We always gave back to young girls and provided mentorship with those core values of our company, so we did a lot of mentorship organically, but not on an ongoing basis. We knew we really wanted to bring more structure in order to increase our impact,” Logan said.
This fall, junior Carlyle Rickenmann and sophomore Caroline Ciaramitaro are starting a chapter of Female Quotient Lounge @ Campus at UNC. Their journey as co-presidents began after Rickenmann stumbled across The Female Quotient’s website and reached out to ask if the company was looking for summer interns. Then, Logan called Rickenmann and asked her to start a chapter of FQ Lounge @ Campus at UNC.