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Artificial Intelligence Will Help Us Solve Gender Bias, With Katica Roy, CEO of Pipeline

My vision is to flip gender equity on its head — helping to realize gender equity in our lifetime rather than the 217 years forecasted by…


My vision is to flip gender equity on its head — helping to realize gender equity in our lifetime rather than the 217 years forecasted by the World Economic Forum. Some believe gender equity is a social issue; however, data has shown it’s a tremendous economic opportunity. While Pipeline actively works to eradicate gender inequity and increase financial performance, I work to spur people to think differently about the opportunities that present themselves once we collectively close the gender equity gap. The problem of gender bias is an expensive one. In fact, it costs the U.S. $2 trillion in lost GDP and a solution to this problem would increase the economic opportunity for all. Pipeline marries economic gains and gender equity — taking rich macroeconomic research, driving it down to the company’s microeconomic level and producing an actionable track to deliver gender equity coupled with improved financial performance. Our goal is to make gender equity attainable in our lifetime — and we have.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Katica Roy, CEO and founder of Pipeline. Katica is an award-winning business leader and warrior for gender equity in our lifetime. She was a 2018 Colorado Governor’s Fellow and was also named a Luminary by the Colorado Technology Association, recognizing her as a visionary technology leader in Colorado. Katica was also recently named a finalist for the Denver Business Journal’s 2018 Outstanding Women in Business Awards. Pipeline is an award-winning Denver-based technology company that increases financial performance of companies through closing the gender equity gap. Pipeline’s proprietary SaaS platform uses artificial intelligence to assess, address and action against the gender biases costing the U.S. alone $2 trillion. This issue is not just about good sense, this is about dollars. Big dollars that turn heads to create social change. information, visit

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

My goal to close the gender gap once and for all is rooted in my family history. I am the daughter and sister of refugees. My family escaped from Hungary after the fall of 1956 revolution. They lived in a refugee camp in Austria for nearly two months before gaining safe passage to the U.S. by President Eisenhower via Air Force One on Christmas Day 1956. This moment shaped who I am today. The moment that a powerful person used their power to stand forward on behalf of others. My personal duty is to carry that courage forward for others. And, it is why I founded Pipeline — to use the opportunities I had to make gender equity a possibility in our lifetime.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Donna Morton, founder and CEO of Change Finance, asked if I would join her team to ring the opening bell of New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2017. It was to celebrate Change Finance’s first ETF going live. Change Finance’s goal is transform capital markets so that people and the planet are placed on equal footing with profit. I was invited to join the team because of Pipeline’s commitment to closing the gender gap. Joining us to ring the opening bell were individuals who understand the economic potential of closing the gender gap. It was remarkable to be part of that moment.

Noah Berg Photography

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

In honor of the work that Pipeline has done to close the gender equity gap, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper renamed April 10 Equity for All™ Day in Colorado. The Proclamation was presented by Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne at Pipeline’s Equity for All™ event on April 10, 2018 in Denver. After the declaration attendees heard from Ryan Harris, former Denver Bronco and Super Bowl 50 champion about the importance of male voices in the journey to achieve gender parity. The event concluded with a “time to parity” announcement featuring the release of Pipeline’s v.3 platform. Our Equity for All™event and the proclamation affirmed Pipeline’s impact in achieving gender equity in our lifetime.

Pipeline also launched the first gender equity app on Salesforce’s AppExchange. Achieving gender equity in the sales function has the ability massively accelerate our time to gender equity. With our app on the AppExchange, Pipeline identifies and addresses potential unconscious bias or inequity in sales organizations to ensure companies maximize their economic footprint.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

We are part of the inaugural class of Techstars Impact Accelerator Program. As part of this program, Pipeline is recognized as one of the top one percent of all social impact, for-profit companies. This program propels forward our goal of closing the gender gap. We will complete the program on August 23rd.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Personally, I’m not a fan of advice so instead I’ll share with you what I tell myself. Your brand should not be about you — it should be about helping others. Focus your unique gifts on helping others. Know what you want and be brave enough to get there. Chart your own path and have the courage to take that path despite the obstacles. Obstacles are not about you or your worth. Courage is a muscle ­­ — when exercised it gets stronger.

Noah Berg Photography

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My dad, he taught be to be a truth-teller. Being a truth-teller isn’t always popular, but it’s valuable. I am mindful to say things in such a way that people will be most receptive. It’s not about being nice, it’s about being effective. It’s about identifying what the important goal is (the success of the project), and working toward that mutual goal.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

My vision for Pipeline is to flip gender equity on its head — helping to realize gender equity in our lifetime rather than the 217 years forecasted by the World Economic Forum. Some believe gender equity is a social issue; however, data has shown it’s a tremendous economic opportunity. While Pipeline actively works to eradicate gender inequity and increase financial performance, I work to spur people to think differently about the opportunities that present themselves once we collectively close the gender equity gap.

The problem of gender bias is an expensive one. In fact, it costs the U.S. $2 trillion in lost GDP and a solution to this problem would increase the economic opportunity for all. Pipeline marries economic gains and gender equity — taking rich macroeconomic research, driving it down to the company’s microeconomic level and producing an actionable track to deliver gender equity coupled with improved financial performance. Our goal is to make gender equity attainable in our lifetime — and we have.

Noah Berg Photography

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why.

  1. Your mindset matters. Your brain is not wired to make you happy, it’s wired to keep you safe. As an an entrepreneur and executive I’m often faced with situations in which my reptile brain kicks in (fight or flight). My goal has been to rewire my brain — I can feel a certain way but I don’t need to act on it. I meditate regularly to put the pause between how I feel and my decisions and actions.
  2. Get clear on your story and your why — and share them broadly.When we launched Pipeline, my co-founder suggested we could springboard it off of my brand. I was against it because I felt that folks wouldn’t care about my story, rather they would care about Pipeline. I was wrong. My story has given Pipeline more power and made it relatable. It has enabled folks to see themselves in the Pipeline journey.
  3. Give first and be of service.I am frequently in situations where I don’t know people, or at least very few people. Instead of being concerned about my own discomfort, I refocus on what I can bring to the situation, how I can helpful and who I can help. This refocusing has allowed me to further embrace the interconnected fabric of the human race.
  4. Build on your strengths. I am not good at everything — no on is. Focus on what you do well, those are the gifts that were given to you to improve the world. The world needs your gifts — that’s why you have them, to share them with the world.
  5. Hire slow and fire fast. Often there is a tendency to fill open job requisitions quickly with the belief that openings are wasted time and moneyl. That is true with a catch. It costs you more if that hire doesn’t work out. In the long run, you’re better taking your time hiring and vetting candidates.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You can not have both. — Brene Brown

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂

Michelle Obama. Why? When she was on the campaign trail with President Obama, then Senator Obama, she talked about the struggles of working and being a mom. When she was with her kids she was worrying about work and when she was at work she was worried about her kids. I understood her struggle and it was one of the first moments I felt someone in the public sphere truly understood what it is like to be a breadwinner mom.

Originally published at medium.com

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