Name: Arezou Zarafshan
Title: Founder and CEO
Community work: Arezou is an active mentor and supporter of founders and entrepreneurs in Colorado. She supports founders by advising them on their entrepreneurial journeys to achieve growth, raise capital, have access to resources and much more. Amongs others, Arezou has advised Colorado-based companies such as SheFactor, Meth Toxins Awareness Alliance, Embher and others. Arezou is also an active mentor on Energize Colorado, helping small businesses navigate the challenges of COVID.
CWCC Involvement: Arezou has been a member of CWCC for 2 years and successfully completed CWCC’s Mentorship Program in January 2020. She is also a supporter of Colorado’s top-25 women in business event and knows many of the award recipients, personally. Arezou aspires to serve on CWCC board one day.
The Why: I do what I do because I want to see an end to gender bias and inequality. Today, only 7.4% of Fortune 500 and only 6.5% of S&P 500 CEOs are women. Only 20% of S&P 500 board seats are occupied by women. Only 9% of US Venture Capital firms have a woman as a partner in the firm. Only 2% (and that number is dropping fast) of women-founded startups receive VC funding. And gender pay gap STILL exists: women make 81% of what is earned by their male partner for equal work. COVID has made this situation much worse. Just in September alone, 865,000 women workers dropped out of the workforce. According to a McKinsey report, 1 in 4 women are contemplating what many would have considered unthinkable less than a year ago: downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce. “Mothers are spending 20 more hours a week on housework and child care during coronavirus than fathers. Twenty more hours a week is half of a full-time job.” Sheryl Sandberg shared out in the same report. I can go on and on about this and the point I am making is, this has to stop! I honestly lose sleep over this horrific trend. We are losing much of the already slow progress we were making in order to arrive at gender parity and at a very rapid scale. Pre COVID, I founded DispatchMom because I wanted to liberate women from the “unpaid” work of cooking, cleaning, childcare, errands, you name it and it is now so much more needed I ever envisioned . I am a proud mom and very active in the community. I am also ambitious and I care about my career. I did not want to choose between motherhood and a successful career and I know many working moms that are struggling just the same. DispatchMom is a small step in liberating women, especially now in the COVID era, to maintain momentum professionally