This Single Mom Turned Tech Entrepreneur Shares How She Rose Above Self-Doubt

When you’re looking for a job, you’re thinking about the future of your career. So why are you applying for new roles just based on a list of things you did in the past? Five years ago, that was question that Frida Polli couldn’t get out of her head.

Polli was working toward an MBA at Harvard after she spent a decade as a cognitive neuroscientist. But thrust into the world of recruiting as she and her classmates were on the hunt for their post–business school gig, she was struck by how outdated the process seemed.

So she started pymetrics, a platform that would marry her interests in neuroscience and artificial intelligence to help job seekers find the roles they are best suited for and help employers take bias out of the equation. Prospective candidates go through a series of computer activities that help figure out their cognitive and emotional personality traits and styles, and then companies look at that data, rather than just a resume, to make a determination about whom to hire. “When I didn’t [have a] babysitter, I would have to bring my daughter to investor meetings or events,” Polli says. “I could have just been sheepish [about it]. But I’ll never forget bringing my daughter, and [saying], ‘Yep, here’s my co-founder.’ She was 10 at the time, obviously not my co-founder. I just owned it, and didn’t say sorry.”

Polli says that she didn’t want to be limited by the perceptions of her past, and she figured many people felt similarly.

“I had a lot of self-doubt around if I could do this,” Polli tells Entrepreneur about deciding to start the company. “I definitely feel like it was just a question of deciding this is something I was passionate about, and wanting to follow my passion rather than what my resume said I should do.”

In the six years pymetrics has been in business, it has grown to a team of 78 employees, raised $16 million and has offices in New York, London and Singapore. The company serves more than 60 employer clients including Accenture, LinkedIn, Tesla and Unilever, and more than one million job candidates in 68 countries have used pymetrics to find new opportunities.

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