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Stella Zapiti: Emboldened Women Business Leaders in 2022


Stella Zapiti
Founder and Creative Communications Specialist, Activitygogo

‘Our mission is to inspire and motivate locals to try something new and do more activities that improve our mental and physical wellbeing. To connect activity providers with activity seekers in a way that is fast, easy, and fun’ is a multi-award-winning Cypriot start-up that successfully completed the IDEA accelerator in 2020. Activitygogo’s purpose is to inspire and motivate people to try new hobbies and activities that bring joy, teach new things, and develop one’s skills. It operates in the entertainment industry and offers discovery tools and gifting solutions to activity seekers, digital marketing solutions to providers, team building and employee reward schemes to companies.

What is the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
“The combination of a can-do attitude, high-risk tolerance and my own definition of success. Seeing someone else achieve something great tells my brain that “it is possible,” and achievable – even if it does not always turn out to be the case. I have always felt aware of the fact that I could die at any point, a depressing thought for some but for me a liberating one. It puts things into perspective, and helps me define my own idea of success, which is to live a life with no regrets. For me, failure is allowing fear to prevent me from trying something. I look at life as an adventure and I am happy to take risks. If things do not work out, it is simply the start of a new challenge, and my attitude to bounce back from the situation.”

Why do you think companies would benefit from having more women at the top?
“Diversity is power. Women can bring a different perspective that is currently missing from the male dominated boardrooms. Numerous studies show that organisations with women in leadership roles have seen positive effects, from increased profitability and productivity to greater creativity innovation, and a better ability to gauge consumer interest and demand. Any company that wants to attract and retain the best talent needs to show that they value both men and women and offer equal opportunities, across the board.”

What are some patterns you have noticed over the years about women at work, and think they could be doing better to advance their careers?
“I do not think that the problem is a lack of ambition or skills. It has a lot more to do with systematic problems such as unconscious bias and outdated societal beliefs. One example is the work-life balance and the unfair distribution of household necessary tasks such as childcare, cleaning and cooking. The burdens of which still fall disproportionally on women, even while working a full-time job. Many employers never question a father’s commitment to his work while for a mother it is often a big concern. This is something that can affect an employer’s decision on who to promote to a higher position that requires longer hours, flexibility, and mobility. I think in general as women, we need to have higher expectations from both our employers as well as our life partners.”

Do or did you have a woman leader as a mentor or are there specific women who inspired you and why?
“My biggest inspiration has undoubtably been my mother. She is a strong, independent woman who always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. She was a working mom – not an entrepreneur – her personality and the way she operates, empowered me to be a confident go-getter. Her resourcefulness nurtured my creativity in ways that I do not think she even realises. Having said that though, does not take anything away from the fact that it is so crucial to live in a society where women see themselves represented in positions of power. Whether business or politics, it can be very intimidating to enter such male dominated arenas. Therefore, I really hope we get to see a more gender balanced representation in decision making positions.”

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