When the She’s a Crowd CEO Zoe Condliffe won the 2022 Telstra Best Of Business Award this week for the new Accelerating Women category, it was a victory for women globally.
Zoe, who is a data expert and gender activist, launched her ‘feminist tech start up’ She’s A Crowd in 2018 with a vision to make the world safer for women by collecting crowd sourced data.
“We’re currently the biggest geospatial data set for the prevention of gender-based violence in the world,” said Zoe as she accepted the Telstra Award at Sydney’s International Convention Centre. “We’ve collected over 100,000 reports from survivors so I want to dedicate this award to those survivors, the survivors who bravely shared their story with She’s A Crowd and to the too many women who haven’t survived – 16 this year alone here in Australia.
“I want to dedicate this award to the women and gender diverse people people in this room who put up with street harassment. That’s nine in ten of us, who put up with an unequal share of domestic labour, who get paid lower and then their male counterparts, who are overlooked or spoken over. She’s A Crowd is working towards a world that is safer and more equal for everybody.”
Launched with the goal of making cities safer for women and closing the gender data gap, She’s A Crowd connects its data with decision-makers and businesses who are looking to promote the safety of women and gender diverse people in their communities. It currently has 15,000 reports in its database, ensuring it is the only always-available crowdsourcing platform for the prevention of gender-based violence in Australia.
Zoe and her team at She’s A Crowd envision a world where everybody can report their experience, and that data can be used to tackle the root causes of gender-based violence.
Zoe Condliffe’s Mentor
Being recognised for her achievement was both highly deserved and a huge honour for Zoe, but she didn’t forget the mentor who first had faith in her, and it was her whom she thanked first when she stood on the podium, award in hand.
“I’m here tonight with someone very special, Nicola Hazell, who really was the first person who believed in me and heard my story and thought that She’s A Crowd was a great idea,” said Zoe. “So I wanted to thank her first. We’re all about storytelling and when I told my story to Nicola, she heard me and believed me and that means a lot to me.”
Before working on She’s A Crowd, Zoe started her first social enterprise in rural Cambodia and later gained experience at Monash University, NGO and start-up sectors, becoming a leader in the social change sector. In 2016, she worked in gender and youth advocacy for Plan International Australia, where she pioneered the digital crowd mapping tool for street harassment, Free To Be. It was then that she met Nicola, who gave her the encouragement she needed to start She’s A Crowd, and leverage the power of storytelling to address the gender data gap.
“It was very special to see Zoe honoured at the Telstra Best of Business Awards,” said Nicola, a former Telstra Business Awards judge. “Zoe has built a company that is making a critical impact on the lives and safety of women in our communities, and leading the way in closing a significant gender data gap.
“When I first met Zoe four and a half years ago, I was inspired by her story, her conviction and her desire to make the world safer for women. She had a powerful vision for empowering women to share their stories of street harassment and abuse, to generate meaningful, crowd-mapped data to inform and change the way our cities and spaces are designed, placing women’s safety at the centre.
“She took a bold leap of faith to turn that vision into a tech startup in the form of She’s A Crowd, but her courage and tenacity has really paid off.
“This award – four years into the She’s A Crowd journey – is a testament to all Zoe has achieved, the hurdles she has overcome and the impact she and the She’s A Crowd team are now generating for women and our cities.
“It’s always an honour to be in Zoe’s corner and witness the ongoing growth of her impact and her business. And it’s really just the beginning for all that I know she will achieve.“
More About She’s a Crowd
She’s A Crowd uses the local council’s data to make cities safer for women and gender diverse people and close the gender data gap.
“She’s A Crowd is a feminist tech start-up,” says Zoe. “Our safe and anonymous crowdsourcing platform allows any survivor anywhere in the world to share their story and that story is geotagged and time-stamped and aggregated for important insights which we provide to our customers.”
You can contact She’s A Crowd here: https://shesacrowd.com/
Robyn Foyster has been a judge for the Telstra Business Awards for seven years. She is also the owner and publisher of Women Love Tech and InProfile.