The award-winning economist has used AI to shut the gender equality hole

The gender gap in technology is well documented. Research shows that women hold just 22% of all technical positions in European companies, while the proportion of funds raised by all-female teams has fallen from 3% to 1% since 2018.

The problem is widespread at all levels of the industry. A Web Summit’s 2022 survey found that 67% of women in tech feel unfairly paid compared to their male counterparts.

Despite this pessimistic picture, technology can also provide a means to close the gender equality gap.

That is the mission of celebrated gender economist and former Global 500 leader Katica Roy, who will speak at TNW València on March 31st.

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For Roy, the work has personal roots. When she returned to work after her maternity leave, she experienced wage inequality herself. She decided to develop her own solution. In 2017 she founded Pipeline Equity, a SaaS company aiming to improve intersectional gender equity in the workplace.

Pipeline Equity’s award-winning HR analytics platform uses AI and cloud computing to help companies translate their DEI commitments into day-to-day actions and improve inclusion and equality by 70% in three months.

“Interestingly, we found in the marketplace that 96% of CEOs make equity their top priority, but only 22% of employees see it being shared and measured on a regular basis,” Roy tells TNW. “So you have this 74 percent gap between employer branding and actual employee experience. We want to close that.”

Equally interesting, the original research behind Pipeline Equity found that for every 10% increase in intersectional gender equality across 4,000 companies in 29 countries, there was a 1% to 2% increase in sales. “Equity is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a tremendous economic opportunity,” says Roy. In fact, this economic opportunity could add $12 trillion to global GDP.

In fact, the economic return on stocks is higher during a downturn than in normal times, she explains. That means companies that put equity at the heart of their crisis management during uncertain times can double the returns.

But despite the social and economic benefits of gender equality, Roy believes companies are doing two things wrong: focusing on programmatic rather than systemic change, and focusing on “fixing” women rather than fixing the system.

She argues that hardwiring justice by phasing out our biases with the help of AI is “vital” for us and our global economy.

“With a system that is inherently just, we have the opportunity to truly promote justice while we are still alive. The question is not whether we can use technology to achieve justice. It is whether we will choose it. Because it is in our area to make this a reality.”

Katica Roy will be speaking at TNW València, which takes place at the end of March. If you want to experience the event, we have something special for our loyal readers. Use promo code TNWVAL30 and get a 30% discount on your TNW València Conference Business Pass.

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