Technology entrepreneur Zoe Chowney is an inspirational speaker on a wide range of themes. These include change management, leadership, diversity and inclusion.
Inspirational speaker, Zoë Chowney, is a qualified accountant and experienced technology entrepreneur. She currently runs Bacano.io and is non-executive director to a number of other technology companies. She splits her time between London and Madrid.
Zoë began her career with Allianz and AIG, before founding a number of internet ventures. One of these being a digital media agency that, following an IPO process, she sold to WPP and completed a 4 year earn-out. As European Managing Director of Kenshoo, (an Israeli technology company backed by Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance and Bain Capital Ventures), Zoë set-up their European operations and took them to market leadership.
She co-founded The Asset Works (an asset leasing industry technology company). Subsequently she took them through a funding round with facilities management giant OCS. Zoe won numerous major International clients, including Volkswagen Financial Services and BNP Paribas. Following these ventures, she founded and has run a corporate R&D tax consultancy, Taxrelief.biz, for the past 5 years. She has also founded Bacano.io (a SaaS platform designed to streamline the R&D tax claim process).
Although Zoë knew from early childhood that she was transgender, personal circumstances and societal attitudes at the time caused her to feel shame and she lived a life in denial and suppression. She went on to marry and have two wonderful sons, but constantly fought her gender dysphoria in secret. Only after getting hospitalised in 2014 (due to physical manifestation of the stress) did she finally confess to doctors about her gender dysphoria. She hoped that medical help would help her remain male, however this proved not to be the case and she reluctantly transitioned in 2017.
Transitioning cost Zoë her first marriage and also one of the businesses that she was a director of at the time. Having completed surgery in 2019, Zoë now lives as a transwoman, has re-married and maintains a great relationship with her two sons who live nearby. She also continues to run a number of successful businesses.
Zoë was included on Brummell Magazine’s 2018 list of Inspirational Women. She is a passionate advocate and campaigner for the LGBTQ+ community. This resulted in her serving as the first openly transgendered woman co-chair of Gay Women’s Network (gwn.org.uk). She is the founder and co-chair of Pride in Business (prideinbusiness.org). In addition she is a frequent public speaker and writer for publications such as Gay Times as well as a range of corporate audiences.
Zoë is a Liveryman in The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers and a Freeman of the City of London.
Zoë wants people to accept the transgender community, both in professional and social situations. She believes that acceptance only follows understanding and is therefore very open about her experiences, welcoming any questions no matter how personal or potentially politically incorrect.
Being a senior business professional, entrepreneur, investor, non-executive board member of a number of companies and a parent, she brings a different perspective to the challenges facing the transgender community. She is happy to talk about her experiences from both a professional and/or personal point of view.
“Zoë, what a brilliant talk! Thank you for sharing your interesting and captivating story so candidly with us here at YLD, and for answering our team’s questions. It was truly inspiring and insightful to hear you talk about such personal experiences in such an open, calm and engaging way, and with such humour. What a great pleasure to have you as our guest speaker!” Hattie Ensor, People & Operations Specialist, YLD