A Spanish scientist / tech-preneur (Jenifer Clausell), a British innovator / professor /TEDx curator (Adam Montandon) and a Romanian speaker coach / business English trainer /marketer (yours truly) walk into a… video call.
They’re talking about an investor pitch that will make the Nordic startup scene remember the name Develop Diverse.
How did we all get here?
Jenifer started out as a scientist in cancer research. She noticed how the gender inequalities reflected from family life and society reflected into the work environment, even for highly educated women. used to be a scientist and researcher. She noticed how few women were working in her field, and decided to do something about it. She decided she couldn’t wait another hundred years for the gender gap to close on its own, so she started using her scientific research and tech skills in the field of cognitive gender studies and linguistics. This is how she founded her company Develop Diverse – currently a tech start-up helping companies build diverse and inclusive workplaces using Artificial Intelligence. More specifically, the tool is able to recognize gender, race and age bias in the language and images used across the company’s communication channels – including bias that is not immediately obvious, such as words subconsciously loaded with male / female, cultural or age-related values – and propose neutral alternatives.
Language that is not loaded with stereotypic terms, Jenifer says, can make everyone feel like they belong to that group.
Adam and I met Jenifer for the first time in the context of TEDxOdenseWomen, where Jenifer spoke about the impact of words on social and professional groups. We worked on her talk and it became a turning point for Jenifer as a speaker. A few months later, she became involved in the Katapult accelerator program in Oslo, where her “graduation” would consist of a series of pitches before various panels of investors. This is when we got in touch again.
And this is what came out of our second round of coaching sessions with Jenifer: