Meet Elizabeth Cowper, the Founder, and CEO of Ludo, which is on a mission to engage female talent in the workforce. Ludo is about tech for inclusion, working to close the gender pay gap, educating, informing, and supporting HR. It is a B2B SaaS product that provides content and resource to all employees from its expert partners. Alongside this, the company also provides needed tools for HR to help drive a culture of inclusion and education for line managers to engage talent.
Under Elizabeth’s leadership, Ludo launched its first module to transform the maternity journey in 2021, with its next module, Ludo Menopause, scheduled to launch in October 2022. It also has Ludo Health, Ludo Fertility, and Ludo Parents in its product pipeline for 2023.
Ludo helps working new parents connect via the company, geography, or industry sector. Based on the expecting parents’ preference, Ludo sends alerts to the line manager and HR to keep in touch when the employee is out on maternity leave. The organization also has learning hub videos to support HR in guiding line managers to help parents as they grow their families.
The Farsighted Leader
As a working parent, Elizabeth understands the challenges parents face juggling the demands of a busy job and children. Also, she realized that if we continue at the same rate, closing the gender pay gap will take over 136 years. McKinsey once said, “Intervention is necessary to bridge the gender gap.” and Ludo is the intervention.
Elizabeth says, “Women are still underrepresented in the workplace, and we must hurry history to shift the dial. We help companies do exactly that.”
Global productivity losses related to menopause topped $150bn last year. And women typically drop out of the workforce when they are most likely to step into senior roles due to the age range where women are impacted by perimenopause and menopause.
After leaving University, Ludo’s founder Elizabeth initiated her career in recruitment, then onto HR. She completed her CIPD training in the UK and trained as a Master Coach, Strengths Finder Coach, and NLP Master Practitioner, which has supported her in developing individuals, and great teams to maximize collective success.
Elizabeth has had an illustrious career of nearly three decades in HR, working for companies like LVMH, Planet Organic, Network Rail, Harvey Nichols and Tapestry. She was awarded HR Most Influential 5 years in a row and has been described as a Culture Adjuster. Being a mother of three, Elizabeth completely understands the challenges of a working mother. Also, due to her role as an HR leader, she has witnessed some incredible women drop out of the workforce during critical life stages, including maternity leaves and menopause. So, she always wanted to change how people support women in the workplace, drive towards gender parity and close the gender pay gap.
Tackling the Gender Pay Gap
According to the latest number, globally, women earn 82 cents to every $1 for men, which is not good enough. This also has a knock-on effect on women’s wealth all the way to the value of their pensions.
Menopause is when most women struggle to stay in the workforce, leaving at a significant time in their careers. So, Ludo needs to work to support and retain female talent to maintain board diversity.
Ludo helps employees going through maternity and menopause by providing the needed help, support, and guidance. The organization helps attract and retain female talents and educates on the importance of gender parity.
Elizabeth started her entrepreneurial journey in April 2020. She stepped out of corporate life into a global lockdown, which was nerve-wracking. She was also solo parenting three kids at home while running focus groups online and putting together the vision and plan for the tech. While looking back, Elizabeth realizes it was all possible due to the available technology. However, the lack of human contact made it harder to build Ludo’s team.
As the founder of Ludo, Elizabeth believes the pandemic has terribly affected working mothers, and it single-handedly pushed back women’s development in the workplace by more than ten years.
Getting Ready for the Future
Elizabeth says, “We are launching Ludo Health, Ludo Fertility, and Ludo Parents in 2023. We have plans for an HR Mastermind group too, and we run Ludo Red Tent events. A red tent is a women’s circle to allow women to have a voice and share in a safe environment.”
Ludo is working to create a future workplace where employees can tune into their inner compass and be their authentic selves. The organization can achieve this by creating a safe, inclusive culture, raising self-awareness, guiding and supporting employees through their life journeys. Presently Ludo is raising investment, and it is the firm’s second investment round that will help it expand the business globally, grow the team, and develop the tech with several new features.