After noticing how difficult, costly, and time-consuming it was for companies to organise networking events and build business relationships with the C-suite, Jess and co-founder Sam founded The Ortus Club. Their goal was to create a neutral environment where senior executives could freely network, share knowledge, and get to know each other. However, upon embarking on their mission, a new challenge arose: a disproportionate number of female attendees.
To date, The Ortus Club has welcomed 10,038 guests to its executive knowledge-sharing roundtables and networking events. Out of those, 7,425 were men. This means only a fourth of the total (2,613 guests) were women. The contrast is often most apparent in post-event photos, much to the disappointment of onlookers—and Ortus leadership itself, the majority of whom are women.
Although this is a huge improvement compared to when The Ortus Club started 6 years ago, the change is not happening fast enough. The sad reality is still that most senior executives in the world today are men, leading most of our roundtable and networking event attendees to be so.
Over the years, The Ortus Club began actively working with women moderators and masters of ceremonies to bolster the ranks.
The company also prides itself on being women-led, which they naturally achieved by simply empowering the most talented people in the room and noticing they just happened to be women. But, if there is indeed no bias, how then do some management teams entirely lack women members? Why is this not the global standard across industries? Such questions have yet to be answered, but the pace of change will surely quicken.
In a simple show of solidarity, The Ortus Club celebrated International Women’s Day by encouraging all employees to wear purple, enjoy some gourmet catering, and participate in challenging but insightful trivia about some of the most prominent women in history. It was far from a red-carpet occasion because an annual celebration is not enough. Only by learning to respect individuals for what they do and how they do it, rather than what they are or what their gender is, can the world be a better place.
We look forward to continuing our knowledge-sharing mission with like-minded companies focused on breaking this bias.
The Ortus Club organises knowledge-sharing roundtable discussions, networking events, and masterclasses globally. They bring together C-level executives and decision-makers in a pitch-free, neutral environment to share challenges and insights on relevant business topics. In addition, they are constantly on the lookout for new talents to join the team. Check out the Careers Page for incredible opportunities.