Building a company grounded in equity with Electo Analytics
Soraya Bagheri is the co-founder and COO of Electo Analytics, a public affairs software company based in Washington, D.C.
Tell us about the work of Electo Analytics and how your purpose enables a more inclusive world.
Electo Analytics is a public affairs software designed for teams of all sizes. Public affairs encapsulates companies, trade associations, nonprofits, and advocacy groups who engage in government relations related to a special field of policy. Our software allows policy teams to conduct research with ease, organize data, and manage their projects to enhance workflow, all in one place.
Options for public affairs softwares are both limited and expensive, leaving thousands of policy teams without up to date technology. Currently, public affairs teams with access to capital and public affairs software are the main teams who gain facetime with policymakers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these teams lean white, male, and already established in the policymaking sphere.
Thousands of nonprofits, trade associations, and political action groups are left to conduct their own research and build their own contacts at a snail’s pace compared to larger institutions who can afford expensive software. Access to public affairs software is now a necessity in order to keep up with competition in policy development.
Electo Analytics works to create a robust pipeline for a diverse range of policy teams to gain influence. We want to modernize the world of policymaking on the local, state and national level.
Going further, how are some of the ways you lead and operate your business upholding the principles of creating a more sustainable and inclusive society?
As a means of fostering a more inclusive society, we created equitable hiring practices designed to have a diverse team and expand opportunities in tech. 100% of our team members represent one or more historically underrepresented communities. We also actively incorporate best practices to facilitate a warm, healthy work environment to retain our wonderful team.
What inspired you to join the Council?
As a mission-driven organization, Electo Analytics remains aligned with our purpose, first and foremost. Our mission to expand access to information and technology aligns with the Council’s ethos to build a sustainable economic future rooted in inclusive capitalism. In particular, Electo Analytics has a foundation in promoting the health and well being of our team members and supporting innovation towards a more prosperous future. We wished to amplify the work of the Council by becoming part of the network.
What role does technology play in an inclusive society and why is access to technology so vital?
Technology contributes to inclusion through expanding access to information and resources. Access to technology remains essential to leveling the playing field—not only in our niche, but in society as a whole.
Starting with the information economy and moving forward, access to modern technology is vital for providing the highest quality of education and opportunity individuals need to thrive in our society.
Tell us more about your commitment to providing public affairs software to nonprofits, advocacy groups, and grassroots institutions. Electo Analytics has committed to increasing the number of these organizations in your clientele to 20% by the end of 2022.
My co-founder Naeim and I knew that if we could create scalable software for nonprofits, companies, and trade associations to utilize, Electo Analytics would play a role in transforming the dynamics of public policy itself. Thus, Electo Analytics fills the gap in access to public affairs software.
This increase demonstrates progress towards leveling the playing field in public affairs. To achieve our goal, we dedicate time and resources to craft outreach tailored to nonprofit clients.
We have made progress in onboarding a number of advocacy groups and nonprofits as part of our first wave of clients.
Your team is more than 70% women. The technology industry has struggled with gender inequality and gender parity. How was Electo able to overcome this stereotype and why is gender equality important in tech?
Electo Analytics has a team of majority women because we made a conscious effort to hire talented individuals who are underrepresented in tech. We also make intentional strides to facilitate a workplace where all of our team members can thrive.
Striving for gender equality in tech is a modern approach to ensuring that this century’s leading innovations are truly the strongest ones. History’s most impactful innovators almost exclusively represent men. Their contributions undoubtedly moved society forward. Yet, as we’ve seen, our potential increases exponentially when creators and technologists from all backgrounds have the resources needed to break new ground. Creating open pathways for women in tech fosters a greater wealth of innovation.
Why is it important for new companies to incorporate this work from the start? What advice do you have for startups looking to make commitments of their own?
Early-stage companies have a more fluid structure than established ones, allowing them the opportunity to shape company culture and values with proactive intention. Executives who incorporate real values and actionable equity and inclusion goals from the beginning are weaving those values into the company’s DNA.
What gives you hope?
I feel hopeful to see more women entering business and tech fields, particularly within B & C-Corporations. Mission-driven organization needs more talent and leadership from women to prosper. I’m delighted to know more women are becoming entrepreneurs and technologists every day.