10 to Watch Winner 2021 – Locelle Digital

“Now, we’re working with some of the best companies in the world — not just those willing to take a chance — but we want to be in every company. This is tailored to women seeking connections, providing the exact guidance that’s relevant for them.” — Humaira Ahmed, CEO of Locelle Digital.

Humaira Ahmed, CEO, Locelle
Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet.

Sectors: Tech, Leadership

Year Launched:2018

Founder: Humaira Ahmed, CEO

Unique Selling Proposition: Connecting women in leadership; especially those in male-dominated industries.

Strategy: Tailored mentor-matching through employer-funded programming.

Website: www.locelle.com

Award sponsor: TD Canada Trust

Humaira Ahmed spent over a decade working in marketing in the tech sector. While she had an accomplished background in software engineering, she realized early on she was often the only woman in the room, and rarely did she see other females in positions of leadership.

“I would sometimes be one in a class of 160, and I felt that isolation — as though I didn’t belong in tech,” says Ahmed. “It was not that welcoming for women, and I thought: This is not OK. I have two daughters. I’m ambitious and want to do something great with my life.”

Ahmed decided to create a beacon for women who shared her experience. She launched a mentor-matching app designed to connect women in leadership with those seeking role models. What started as a platform with a handful of acquaintances soon grew into a thriving global network of over 2,000 people —primarily women in tech sectors.

“It quickly became clear that women in these industries lacked leadership role models, and people desperately wanted to find that,” says Ahmed. “It’s one thing for people to use your service. It’s another for people to use it, love it, talk about it and be willing to pay for it.”

Today, Locelle Digital is dedicated to creating equitable workplaces for women. The platform offers its participants tailored mentor-matching and professional-development opportunities, like leadership coaching.

“I see my girls walk a certain way now, like little CEOs,” she says. “They know Mom is a CEO, and that their parents are both leaders. That’s important.”