The gender equality gap in the technology sector is well documented. Research has shown that women occupy only 22% of all technical positions on European companies, while the share of funding is raised by women-only teams has fallen from 3% to 1% since 2018.
The problem occurs at every level of the industry. a Poll 2022 by Web Summit showed that 67% of women in tech feel unfairly paid compared to their male peers.
Despite this pessimistic view, technology can also be a means of closing the gender equality gap.
That is the mission of acclaimed gender economist and former Global 500 global executive, Katica Roy, who will be speaking at TNW València on March 31.
For Roy, the work has personal roots. When she returned to work after maternity leave, she herself experienced wage inequality. She decided to come up with her own solution. In 2017 she founded Pipeline equitya SaaS company focused on improving intersectional gender equality in the workplace.
Pipeline Equity’s award-winning HR analytics platform leverages AI and cloud computing to help companies turn their DEI commitments into daily actions, improving inclusion and equity by 70% in three months.
“Interestingly, we found in the marketplace that 96% of CEOs see equity as their top priority, but only 22% of employees see it regularly shared and measured,” Roy tells TNW. “So you have a 74% gap between employer branding and the actual employee experience. That is what we want to close.”
Equally interesting, the original research behind Pipeline Equity found that for every 10% increase in intersectional gender equality among 4,000 companies in 29 countries, there is a 1% to 2% increase in revenue. “Equity is not only the right thing to do, but also a huge economic opportunity,” says Roy. More precisely, that could add economic opportunity $12 trillion to global GDP.
In fact, the economic returns of stocks are higher during a recession than during normal times, she explains. This means that companies that put equities at the center of their crisis management in uncertain times can achieve double the returns.
But despite the social and economic benefits of gender equality, Roy believes there are two things companies are doing wrong: focusing on programmatic rather than systemic change, and focusing on “fixing” women rather than fixing the system.
She argues that it is “critical” for us and our global economy to establish justice by phasing out our prejudices using AI.
“With a system that is fair by design, we have the opportunity to really facilitate fairness throughout our lives. The question is not whether we can achieve fairness through technology. It’s about whether we choose to. Because it is within our reach to make this happen.”
Katica Roy will speak at TNW València, which will take place at the end of March. If you want to join the event, we have something special for our loyal readers. Use the promo code TNWVAL30 and get 30% off your business conference pass for Applied Sciences Valencia.