Mogul – How an HBS alumna founded a platform that empower women and bridge the gender leadership gap

Mogul is a community platform and a B2B software company created in 2014 by an HBS alumna, Tiffany Pham, to increase women empowerment and connecting top talent with opportunities.

Mogul is both a community platform and a B2B software company that connects “women to top trending content, including articles, videos, jobs, events, products, and discussions, that are personalized to their interests”[1] and supports companies to hire and diversify talents. Founded in 2014 by Tiffany Pham (MBA 2021) with the goal of bridging the leadership gender gap, today Mogul reaches more than 150 million users in 196 countries[2].

Its double nature (B2B company and community platform) is one of the most distinctive features of Mogul, pivotal for its value creation and success.

Figure 1 – Tiffany Pham (MBA 2012), Mogul founder and CEO (Image: https://vulcanpost.com/606867/lessons-tiffany-pham-mogul/ )

One distinctive characteristic of the platform is its innovative content, not only produced or curated by the Mogul team: users can contribute and express their opinions on specific topics, therefore continuously personalizing the content of the platform on a real-time basis. The platform uses an algorithm that highlights the top trending items to be shared within its community[3]. For instance, Mogul uses the technology to allow women to share real time information, voice their opinion, connect with each other and learn about opportunities.

The strong community of women created by Mogul is constantly scaled by fostering the engagement of users with the trending content as well as between users themselves[4]. In 2019, more than 70% of Mogul users were women, and 40% used the platform to search for job opportunities[5].

Another feature that increases Mogul’s value is its HR software practice, which allows companies to reach women talent, diversify their workforce and post opportunities in the platform. This is done through the Talent Acquisition Platform, which provide services and software to more than 400 Fortune 1000 companies, including Amazon, IBM, Nike and Intel. The platform also supports companies furloughing their workforce, by designing services aimed at favoring the employees’ transition and exposure to other opportunities[6].

Figure 2 – Mogul HR software and services (https://onmogul.com/employers)

Next, Mogul has a strong focus towards building a diverse workforce at the highest level. Through the HR software and services Mogul increased the diversity of its partners’ talent pipeline by more than 70%[7] becoming the “best executive search firm for women, minorities and people of color”[8].

However, diversity need to be enhanced through multiple initiatives. Pham acknowledged that the gender gap in leadership is partly due to the fact that “90% of senior positions are attained through networking, and men constitute 85% of this insider world of senior executives”[9]. With this in mind, Mogul developed Invitation-Only, a subscription network of women senior managers across companies including Walmart, Apple and Dell. With Invitation-Only women are connected with executive job openings, top leaders of industries, networking and mentorship opportunities.

Mogul’s achievements are also built through a strong network of mission-driven managers, partners (such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UN Women) and investors.

Figure 3 – Screenshot from Mogul website (https://onmogul.com/about)

Not surprising, Mogul is “the top recruiting platform to leverage authentic and innovative engagement, distribution, and sourcing to attract and retain talents”[10], and as of 2019 it was the fastest growing tech platform for women[11]. Mogul is well positioned to continue scaling its business model while maintaining its sustainability and focus, also considering that much has to be done to bridge the gender leadership gap: as of 2020 women accounted for only 7.4% of leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies[12].

To conclude, Pham is committed to continue designing innovative initiatives to increase women empowerment as well as increasing the efforts to change corporate culture and tackle unconscious bias. Although the global landscape is ever-changing, Mogul’s future goal is to “continue to be a champion of diversity and support individuals and organizations to grow to their greatest potential”[13].

 

 

[1] Jagger, Juliette. 2020. “Tiffany Pham, Founder & CEO of Mogul, On Helping Millennials Level Up By Fostering Diversity In The Global Workforce” in Celebrity Access, June 23, 2020. Available at: https://celebrityaccess.com/2020/06/23/interview-tiffany-pham-founder-ceo-of-mogul-on-helping-millennials-level-up-by-fostering-diversity-in-the-global-workforce/

[2] Harvard Business School. Perspectives – Tiffany Pham, MBA 2012. Available at: https://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/alumni/perspectives/Pages/profile.aspx?n=tpham

[3] Taub, Alexander. 2014. “MOGUL Is Building A Digital Hub For Women” in Forbes, Dec 18, 2014. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alextaub/2014/12/18/mogul-is-building-a-digital-hub-for-women/?sh=24ca99842e5f

[4] Ibidem

[5] Serafeim, George; Rouen, Ethan; Gazzaniga, Sarah. 2020. Redefining Mogul. Harvard Business School.

[6] Jagger, 2020, cit.

[7] Beheshti, Naz. 2019. “How Tiffany Pham And Mogul Use Technology And Community To Create More Opportunity For Women” in Forbes, Jul 24, 2019. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nazbeheshti/2019/07/24/how-tiffany-pham-and-mogul-use-technology-and-community-to-create-more-opportunity-for-women/?sh=6a5a0ecaa364

[8] https://onmogul.com/employers

[9] Beheshti, 2019, cit.

[10] https://onmogul.com

[11] Serafeim et al., 2020, cit.

[12] Ebrahimji, Alisha. 2020. “Female Fortune 500 CEOs reach an all-time high, but it’s still a small percentage” in CNN, May 20, 2020. Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/20/us/fortune-500-women-ceos-trnd/index.html

[13] Jagger, 2020, cit.

 

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Student comments on Mogul – How an HBS alumna founded a platform that empower women and bridge the gender leadership gap

  1. Amazing article and very inspiring company!

    I recently engaged in a conversation about gender inequality within the science, technology, and engineering fields. I learned that women within these fields represent less than 27% of the workforce in the U.S. Mogul could really make a difference in closing that gap.

    I see from the blog post and their website that they have an global user base. While there are unifying challenges facing women around the world, it would be interesting to learn about some of the challenges they have faced across different international communities in terms of cultural and language differences.

    1. Very interesting point, Juan Carlos! I’d be curious to learn more on these challenges.
      And to built on your point, I’d be also interested in knowing the differences in how large corporations versus middle enterprises are using the platform and its services!

  2. Thanks for sharing the article! It is super interesting how they create values for women on the platform by building a community while monetizing in B2B business. I wonder what made them so successful in keeping their users stick to the platform and making them engaged.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kanako!
      I think that one of the key success factor is the richness and the variety of the contents of the platforms, linked with the fact that it provides women with mentorship and work opportunities.
      I haven’t had the space to write it (The 750 words limit 🙁 ), but Mogul also organizes regular events such as webinars, master classes and happy hours on a wide range of topics. This is another feature that keep the users very engaged, in my opinion!
      Finally I presume that, in the times we are experiencing, where real life connections are so complicated, Mogul’s users enjoy the sense of belonging to a community.

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