Are profits and ethics mutually exclusive? No, says Sandra D’Souza, the 100th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers.

Sandra has a track record of business success and gender advocacy, which motivated her to found Ellect last year.

Ellect is a digital marketplace that links business suppliers with government or corporate clients. Ellect takes a commission on each transaction, and uses part of this money to fund gender equality projects.

Sandra has been fighting for gender equality for 20 years. Women are equal in law, she says, but not in practice. Sometimes, this inequality is due to overt discrimination, but often because of unconscious bias.

Sandra speaks from experience; she knows what it’s like to be the sole woman in the boardroom. Sandra believes we need quotas and affirmative action so people in authority get exposed to a more diverse mix of candidates.

Sandra also owns Her.Network, a consultancy that helps women-owned or women-led businesses, and is a supporter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.