Leading the Charge for Gender Equity

Zero Gap’s CEO is bringing men and women together to close the gender gap.

CLOSING THE GENDER GAP isn’t solely a “woman’s issue” – it’s a human issue. Sarah Gerber, co-founder and CEO of Zero Gap, spoke about her company’s efforts to unite men and women around the issue of the gender gap at the 2019 World Economic Forum.

In addition to Zero Gap, Gerber founded the boutique production studio Twenty Twenty Studios. As the executive producer of Twenty Twenty Studios, she has produced award-winning documentaries and traveled the world capturing compelling, mission-driven stories. Gerber also advances gender parity in workplace culture through her work at Zero Gap.

Zero Gap was launched in 2017 with the aim of shifting the narrative of the gender gap to include men, not just women, in the conversation. Instead of framing the issue as a problem that women must solve alone, Zero Gap urges both men and women to get informed and empowered about challenging inequality in the workplace. “It’s about everyone being able to engage in it,” Gerber said. “It’s going to benefit everyone, not just a subset of people.”

For all the talk about creating more inclusive workplaces in recent years, the gender gap remains largely intact. Gerber identified “siloed conversations” and anxiety about change as central factors in the slow pace of progress. Zero Gap helps eliminate invisible barriers and fears by arranging 50/50 dinners comprised of an equal ratio of women to men that provide a space for everyone to communicate about, reflect on and embrace the changes that need to be made. Leaders, Gerber said, should be the ones creating those spaces in which people can be “brave” about sharing and learning.

Zero Gap’s guiding principle – unity over division – can be applied to leadership as well. According to Gerber, elevating and listening to as many voices as possible is an essential component of successful 21st century leadership. Initiatives with too narrow an audience, for example, won’t be as effective in changing the culture of a company as programs that involve a broader scope of employees. Zero Gap’s mission asks a question that Gerber believes leaders should ask themselves: “How are you making it an inclusive conversation rather than a siloed conversation?”