Gender equity in tech: Meet the Colorado startup on a mission to 'fix the leaky pipeline'

by April Bohnert
February 22, 2018
Pipeline Equity workplace gender equality Colorado
Photo courtesy of Pipeline Equity.

Gender inequality in the workplace is a global issue.

But according to Pipeline Equity founder and CEO Katica Roy, it isn’t just a social problem. It’s an economic one — and a big one at that.

The World Economic Forum estimates that, at the current rate of progress, it will take 217 years to realize gender parity. Despite the fact that women are quickly becoming the most educated cohort, their participation in the U.S. workforce has been on the decline since 2014, and it’s expected to continue dropping until 2026. By 2020, we’ll be unable to fill five million jobs in the United States and 40 million jobs worldwide.

Now, more than ever, we need women to participate in the workforce. And in order to fully realize their potential, women need equal opportunities, equal pay and equal representation in the boardrooms and C-suites that are calling the shots.

And that’s exactly what Roy and the team at Pipeline Equity are aiming for — to “fix the leaky pipeline.”

Founded in April 2017, this Denver-based startup has created a cloud-based platform that integrates with a company’s HCM and CRM platforms to help businesses better understand the economic impact of their internal human capital decisions. Using artificial intelligence, proprietary algorithms and data analytics, Pipeline provides recommendations based on a person’s “pipeline score” and “economic gain score.”


Pipeline Equity SaaS dashboard Colorado
Image courtesy of Pipeline Equity.


Essentially, the platform quantifies human capital opportunities that can improve financial performance for the organization and provide growth for the individual.

“The best way to attract diverse talent is to ensure that your existing diverse talent is successful, and not just in the roles they’re in but across your company,” Roy said.

The best way to attract diverse talent is to ensure that your existing diverse talent is successful.” 

Pipeline then ties this professional development data to a company’s bottomline.

“We performed a study that showed that for every 10-percent increase in gender equity there’s a one- to two-percent increase in revenue,” Roy said. “So we can actually overlay data against that to see where a company sits on the spectrum and understand — based on their employee size, their growth rate and some other factors — exactly the economic gain for every individual decision they’d be making. And then we track it over time.”

By tracking these decisions — and their outcomes — and providing a technology- and data-driven solution, Pipeline is able to shift the conversation surrounding gender equity. It moves beyond the social implications and drives home the financial ones, proving to companies that doing good and doing well are not mutually exclusive.

“Gender equity is really a massive economic opportunity,” Roy said. “We can add $2 trillion to the U.S. GDP and $12 trillion globally if we actually close the gender gap.”

We can add $2 trillion to the U.S. GDP and $12 trillion globally if we actually close the gender gap.”

The startup is the first Colorado company to be accepted into the Salesforce Accelerate program, which is a three-month program designed to develop early partnerships and accelerate the introduction of new apps to Salesforce’s AppExchange marketplace. The company announced its participation in the program last week.

“We have been fans of Salesforce, and their position on gender equity, for a long time,” Roy said. “Their level of transparency and accountability around this issue was something that we really appreciated. And obviously as a company, Salesforce is the market leader in cloud CRM, so with us being a cloud company, there was a lot of alignment around that as well.”

Looking ahead, Roy says Pipeline will continue to focus on growing its user base as well as its team — all with the end goal of eradicating unconscious bias in the workplace, once and for all.

“When we think about the future of the workplace, the arc of history bending toward gender equity is really not inevitable,” Roy said. “It’s not going to just naturally happen, but it is possible. It’s only possible if all of us decide equity matters to everyone and we speak up and demonstrate our commitment through our actions.”

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