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Icelandic female-led HRtech Empower grabs €2.2M to help break gender biases at workplaces

Empower Founders
Image credits: Empower

Empower, an Icelandic DE&I (Diversity, Equality & Inclusion) firm focused on equality in the workplace, has secured €2.2 million in funding. The investment round was led by Frumtak Ventures that invested in Sidekick Health, a leading early-stage Icelandic VC firm. Tennin, an early-stage angel investment firm, also participated in the round.

SaaS solution coming in 2023

The funding will be used to scale the proven DE&I methodologies of Empower, including benchmarking, training and analytics services, through its new SaaS solution, Empower NOW. This new SaaS solution is based on the EMPOWER methodology and it will be launched to global markets in 2023.

“As we’ve seen with Iceland’s continued top ranking on Gender Equality, LBGTQIA+, peace and happiness indexes, the path to equality begins with acknowledgement of biases within the workplace, systems and society, and a willingness to change those workplaces, systems and society,” said Thorey Vilhjalmsdottir Proppe, Co-founder of Empower. “Empower tackles these same challenges within government and private organisations, creating solutions that address the significant market gap within the HR software sector, by providing an integrated solution centered specifically on DE&I.”

“With this round of funding, we will expedite our journey, building out our team and new solutions to eliminate and mitigate the many challenges organisations face across the Nordic, North American and European markets,” stated Dee Thomsen, Co-founder of Empower. “We will leverage both our proven methodologies, as well as our new, comprehensive software solution, which includes a holistic dashboard complete with reporting systems, red flag monitors, action plan frameworks, goals and KPI tracking, as well as impactful training & micro learning content.”

“We are proud of the positive social impact of this venture. It is imperative that organizations uncover and address the equality challenges that limit their success and the career successes of their employees, both for human and organisational health, as well as regulatory compliance,” said Svana Gunnarsdottir, Managing Partner, Frumtak Ventures. “Empower’s founders deeply understand the needs of HR and DE&I managers, as well as the employees they recruit to these organizations, and are using this breadth of experience to inform the dashboards and toolkits their solution provides, helping to foster more equal and inclusive organisations globally.”

Brings about organisational change

The HR tech startup Empower was founded in Reykjavik in 2020 by serial entrepreneurs and leading DE&I specialists Thorey Vilhjalmsdottir Proppe and Dee Thomsen. It has worked with both government and private sector organisations, such as the country’s Parliament, police organisations, universities and leading international enterprises to uncover, address and correct workplace biases and toxic culture traits that impede their ability to attract and retain diverse talent, and create an equal, diverse and inclusive workplace.

The company provides consultation on equality, diversity and inclusion with an emphasis on workplace culture, offering a holistic approach and practical solutions. Empower´s Equality Roadmap, a strategy and awareness raising methodology, has been at the forefront of a successful track record.

Empower’s goal is to increase equality in the workplace, to improve the working environment and culture, and to ensure equal opportunities and influence for all.

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