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80: Closing the Gender Equity Gap with Katica Roy

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“Our model is not “Equity is the right thing to do.’ It’s actually “Equity is a massive economic opportunity.’ ”

– Katica Roy
Episode #80

Overview

In this episode of What the Fundraising Podcast…

Here’s a data point worth highlighting: Dollars invested in female-founded startups offer an average 63% better return on investment than those with male founders. That’s not merely anecdotal, says my guest on this episode of What the Fundraising. Katica Roy, a Gender Economist, and CEO at Pipeline Equity, has all the stats and research to back up her assertions about intersectional inequity and its many costs – both social and economic. Her powerful Pipeline platform operationalizes gender equity, drives improved business performance, and offers success metrics to back it up. Inspired by her parents’ dramatic journeys — from refugees to capturing the American dream – Katica is devoted to making a systemic change that is backed up by measurable controls, top-down corporate commitment, and supportive, smart policy. 

Our conversation illuminates a number of disturbing statistics as well as avenues for making meaningful change. That change, however, all has to start with our individual and organizational ability to look candidly at biases clearly being perpetuated, even among nonprofits whose missions are dedicated to fostering justice and fair access for the under-served. The episode wraps up with some fascinating advice from a formidable female entrepreneur who has experienced first-hand the uphill battle women face in trying to secure funding. Among the many things she has learned? “Standing in your own power is important … You will get pushback and that’s okay. That just means you’re doing something right!” You can read more of Katica’s amazing data-informed insights by subscribing here to her free online publication, Voices for Equity

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Katica Roy is the CEO and founder of Denver-based Pipeline, an award-winning SaaS company that leverages artificial intelligence to identify and drive economic gains through gender equity. Katica is driven by a passion to eradicate economic inequality and champions the rights of refugees, women, and children. An award-winning business leader with more than two decades of experience in technology, healthcare, and financial services, Katica is credited as a rare combination of expertise in and passion for gender equity, people analytics, and sales operations.

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I teach nonprofit fundraisers to bring in more gifts from the RIGHT donors… so they can stop hounding people for money. Fundraising doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.

MALLORY ERICKSON

episode transcript

Mallory Erickson  02:13

Welcome, everyone, I am so excited to be here today with Katica Roy. Katica Welcome to What The Fundraising. 

Katica Roy  02:19

Thank you for having me. 

Mallory Erickson  02:21

I’m really excited for our conversation. Why don’t you start by just telling everyone a little bit about you? And what brings you to the conversation today?

Katica Roy  02:28

Well, I’m a female founder. So that’s what brings me to the conversation, who’s raised venture capital. But I think a key part of my story is my family history. So I’m the daughter of an immigrant and a refugee. I’ll tell that story very quickly, but it has a lot to do with how I ended up being a female founder. My mom was born in 1939. The year the World War Two began on the Isle of Guernsey, which is one of the British Channel Isles. And in 1940, when France fell to the German army Prime Minister Churchill doubted his ability to defend the Channel Isles, and so he evacuated them. And he evacuated 5000 children and my mom was one of those children. She was 18 months old, the youngest of five kids separated from her mom and four siblings, placed into an orphanage and adopted a year later, and she would actually never see her birth mother again. And she emigrated to the United States when she was 21 in 1964, equality and opportunity. And my father, and really at the core of the American dream, if you will, right that if you are willing to work hard, you can do anything. My father was a refugee. He escaped from Hungary after the fall of the 1956 revolution, with my three older sisters who were three, seven and eight at the time. With the help of Hungarian freedom fighters, they actually crossed a minefield, walked across the border into Austria and arrived to a refugee camp. And less than two months into their stay in the refugee camp. President Eisenhower’s an Air Force One to bring 21 Hungarian refugees to the US on Christmas Day 1956. And they were on that plane. And so what I often think about is my father making the very difficult decision not only to risk his life, but also his daughter’s lives in pursuit of freedom. And less than two months later, watching them climb the stairs of Air Force One to freedom and that has a lot to do with why I started Pipeline. My dad was an entrepreneur. So I grew up around entrepreneurs. And that roller coaster, I actually never really thought I would be an entrepreneur because I thought it was a ridiculous way to try and make money. Like the ups and downs. But then, after 23 years in the corporate world, I felt that there was a solution that I could bring to bear which we’ll talk a little bit about that would carry forward what President Eisenhower had done for my family, which was to speak up about inequity and to use your power to make a difference. And to really say not on my watch, this will not happen these people matter. And I felt that I could do the same thing using technology.

Mallory Erickson  05:16

I love your story. And I’m so grateful that you shared it with everyone. Will you tell everyone a little bit about Pipeline? And then also the concept of intersectional Gender Equity?

Katica Roy  05:30

It’s a mouthful. Yeah, so Pipeline is actually started with research, we did a research study across 4000 companies in 29 countries. And what we found was that for every 10% increase in intersectional gender equity, which is gender, plus race, and ethnicity and age, there’s a 1 to 2% increase in revenue. So our model is not equity is the right thing to do. It’s actually equity is a massive economic opportunity, by the way that has parallels to refugees as well, because when you have crises that you have refugees, it’s actually a very good investment to resettle them and resettle them effectively. So what Pipeline itself the technology does is it’s augmented decision making. So much like you would use Google Maps or ways to get from point A to point B, we do the very same thing, but for companies, people decisions. So we API into their HR systems. When they go to make a decision. For instance, they write a performance review and save it as a draft or they submit a pay decision or post a job requisition, we actually take that decision, run it through our algorithms and if we find any inequities, we make you a recommendation. 

So that could look like we use Natural Language Processing to call up bias phrases. In performance reviews, we calibrate those ratings to ensure that they’re equitable, we ensure pay equity for employees. And what we saw in the market is that 96% of CEOs are committed to equity. And yet only 22% of employees regularly see it shared and measured. So you have this 74 point gap between what CEOs say is important and the actual employee experience. And that was actually my experience in the corporate world. So I’m a breadwinner mom for a family of four who fought to be paid equitably, twice in one. And I didn’t file a lawsuit, but I stood up for myself. So in both the companies where I fought to be paid equitably, we’re committed to equity. And yet, and that was not my employee experience, my employee experience was that I had to stand up for myself. And how different would it be if the companies that I had worked for had actually had Pipeline and they had come to me and said, Hey, Katica, we noticed that you’re not being paid equitably we’re going to proactively close this. So that’s what we do.

Mallory Erickson  08:00

Can you talk to us a little bit about the gap that you’re working to close and some of the elements that have created the gap. I know I’ve read some of your work on impacted the pandemic on the pay equity gap and women in the workplace. And we were talking a little bit before around women being over mentored, will you talk to us about some of the things that lead to this gap?

Katica Roy  08:23

There’s a lot of gaps. Which one do you want me to start

Mallory Erickson  08:29

Yeah, let’s start with the pay gap. And then we can move into the founder funding. 

Katica Roy  08:33

The pay gap is the fact the very basis of that is that we undervalue women in our society. For better or worse, that’s, you know, an actually, for worse, I mean, that’s what we do. And so I’ll give you an example. You asked about intersectionality. I told people what it was, I didn’t tell them why it was important. Intersectionality is gender plus race, ethnicity, and age. You can also add other intersections in there, we focus on that specifically, because it’s what companies track aligned to Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which created the EEOC. So they have to report on that every year. So they tend to have that data. The reason why intersectionality matters, and then I’ll talk about the pay gap is that if you represent two or more intersections, so you’re a black woman, you’re a Latina, you’re a woman over the age of 45, you tend to be farther behind younger white women. And I’ll give you an example. In the Pipeline platform, we have a metric called glass ceiling, which basically measures upward mobility of talent, both men and women and nonbinary. And what we have found is that men are promoted on average at a rate of 21% greater than women. But if you look at that data through the lens of intersectionality gender plus race and ethnicity specifically for Black Women, that gap doubles. That is, Black Men are promoted at a rate of 42% greater than Black Women. And that’s why intersectionality matters because if we only focus on different demographic separately, so for instance, gender, and then race and ethnicity, age, etc. What ends up happening is that gender equity becomes the White women’s movement, race and ethnicity becomes the Black men’s movement. And age is like the older White women movement. 

So we tend to specifically leave out women of color. And if we look at the gender pay gap, for almost every demographic that we see, for the equal pay days in 2022, the pay gap has widened between 5 to 11 cents. And the pay gap represents the amount of money coming into women’s wallets on average. Two pieces about that are, there is not only less money coming into women’s wallets, there’s actually more money coming out. And the other thing that we don’t, and I’ll talk about the details of that in a minute, but the other piece of that is that there’s the breadwinner Mom pay gap, which is not talked about as much. 

And so why that matters is that moms are the breadwinners in 40% of US households with children under the age of 18. So there are 16 million breadwinner moms in the US and we support 28 million children. It’s 40% of the United States future labor force. And our pay gap is 66 cents on the dollar of our male breadwinner peers. 

It is the largest gender pay gap of any cohort of women in the labor force. And when you look at that through an intersectional lens, so specifically gender plus race and ethnicity, Black breadwinner moms have the largest gender pay gap of any women in the labor force, it’s 44 cents on the dollar. And Black breadwinner moms actually support the majority of all black children and have for the last 30 plus years. So we are not only holding our labor force back today, we’re actually holding our future labor force back because the economic standing of parents we know from research has a direct impact on the future economic standing of their children. So an investment in breadwinner moms specifically not the only cohort of women we should invest in but breadwinner moms, is really an investment in today’s labor force, and the future labor force. And I can tell you why that’s important but I’m sure you have another question, but I can work out why like in this particular environment where we’ve got the economic fallout due to COVID-19, inflation, and then the measures to deal with inflation and the impending recession. Why in particular, that is of concern right now.

Mallory Erickson  13:13

Yeah. It’s also making me think a lot about the need for pipeline inside nonprofits. I know it’s used primarily in the corporate structure. But something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is the way you know, nonprofit pay is so low, 75% of the workforce inside the nonprofit sector, which is the third largest employer in the US identify as women, who are wildly underpaid, and they are often being underpaid by institutions that claim to be trying to address the very issues that they perpetuate.

Katica Roy  13:52

Yeah. And then what happens when those women speak up? You asked about the pay gap, right? If we look at that through the lens of just moms as one piece in the workforce, there is a mommy tracking. So if women are either of childbearing age, or they have children, we have an assumption that they are less committed to their jobs because they are mothers. That’s actually not true. What the research shows is that moms in the paid labor force, there are no moms that don’t work. So moms in the paid labor force, actually are the most productive employees over the course of their career. So if you want to invest in any cohort of employees working moms are the cohort to invest in. We also assume, which goes to your question about the nonprofits that women’s wages are, it’s called the myth of secondary income. So we assume that their income is for purses and shoes. It’s not for living expenditures like housing, and food, and transportation, and healthcare. And so our system is really built, it is not a gender neutral system. It is a gender ignorant system, which is why things like nonprofit and underpaying folks in nonprofit perpetuates. 

Mallory Erickson  15:27

Well, and can you talk to me a little bit about the concept of our discomfort talking about gender bias in particular? And what about that makes folks uncomfortable? And what are the implications of us avoiding that conversation?

Katica Roy  15:45

Well, the implications are that it persists. If we are unwilling to stand up and speak out, it will persist. Oftentimes, not always, it really depends on blatant biases. If I am speaking up to someone else, hey, look, I know your intent is good and here’s the impact. And let me work out for you what that looks like and what the research says and here’s my ask in the future. That is, I can be a lot stronger, or depending on the situation. But if we take a step back, there’s a couple of things. One is that bias is the way that our brains work. So I have two master’s degrees, one in computer science and cognitive science, and I have an MBA. And so in cognitive science, we create, people call them patterns or ruts, whatever you, they’re actually schema, we create these structures around women and men and Black men and Black women, etc. And then when we see new information, we tie that to the information we already know. That is essentially what bias is. Right? It is pattern matching. The issue is that it actually leaves out whole cohorts of people. And from an economic perspective, it holds us back in the United States, we leave $3.1 trillion on the table, because of our unwillingness to address gender equity, or gender inequity, right and move toward gender equity. So that’s one piece. The second piece is that we have an if we can talk about this specifically around fundraising. But we have this assumption that if you are a representative of the underestimated group, so you’re a woman, you’re a Black woman, you’re Latina, you’re a woman over the age of 45, etc, that you are not biased against that group. That is not true. 9 out of 10 of us irrespective of gender, or any demographics that we represent, have bias. This is where this narrative it. So if we talk about VC funding, in particular, I am all for equitable representation of women as partners in venture capital firms right. There currently, depending on which state you’re looking at, there are about 9%. And we’re 51% of the population, we have a huge gap. I’m all for women being 51% of partners of venture capital firms, that will not close the female founder funding gap. Because 9 out of 10 of us have gender bias, period. Now, it’ll be really good for LPs, because women, if you actually look at the data are better asset managers across all asset classes. So that’s good. That’s why we should want that and we should want equitable representation. But it will not in and of itself close the funding gap for female founders. And you can just look at last year, right? So 2021 was a banner year for venture funding, and also one of the highest years on record for having female partners and VC firms. And yet, we fell back I believe it was six years to 2016. So we’re in 2022. So five years, if you’re looking at last year, in terms of female founders share of the pie of venture funding, it fell back to 2%. And so the implications of not talking about bias, of not addressing the fact that female founders are over mentored and underfunded is that we actually leave a whole bunch of money on the table for LPs for our economy, for creating jobs for creating well-paying jobs, for solutions that need to exist for at least 51% of the population. All of those things will not exist if we do not equitably fund female founders.

Mallory Erickson  19:57

Okay, so I want to go back to what you were saying before about from the cognitive science perspective, and we had Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett on in season one who wrote the book, How Emotions Are Made. And we talked a lot about the way we predict our future based on the context and content buckets we have in our mind, essentially, that we’re all walking around with these different lenses and biases. And then you mentioned that piece where you sort of gave that example of how you might walk someone back through the way their action impacted you and how to correct that. And I feel like there’s this piece around all of these different conversations, where there’s the discomfort that I often see around talking about biases is that it feels like it’s in conflict with the like, I’m a good person, or like what you said before that gap between 96% of CEOs saying they care about pay equity, and what was it 30 something…

Katica Roy  20:58

And actually they care about gender equity, of which pay equity is a part. That’s something else we can talk about. Because pay equity is not the same as gender equity. Those two are not synonyms. And yet, we often talk about that. And we know, you can’t close the gender pay gap by starting with pay. If you just look 58% of college graduates are women, they represent 47% of labor base and 8% of fortune 500 CEOs. That’s the representation of the gender equity gap in companies.

Mallory Erickson  21:30

Okay, thank you for that piece of that clarification. No, I really, I really appreciate it. I’m curious what you think, given that cognitive science background and that disconnect between what CEOs sort of say they want and then what actually happens, and really the disconnect between intention and impact. What do you think is necessary as a part of this conversation to help folks get over that hurdle of discomfort that talking about gender equity is a personal attack on how good of a person they are?

Katica Roy  22:03

It’s not, if you’re committed to it you need to have, you need to be willing to actually have the conversation and have those difficult conversations and continue to learn. I think it’s also important. And this is what Pipeline does. Before I launched Pipeline, I was a global vice president. And obviously, I was very committed to equity. But I had to choose to be equitable, because our system is inequitable, by default. And so what Pipeline does specifically, is to change companies from being inequitable by default to equitable by design. So if the companies that I had worked for had Pipeline, and I wrote a performance review that has bias in it, I would get a recommendation for replacing those bias, that bias language with equitable language. And I may have a very good reason to reject that recommendation. But now I could potentially be choosing to be inequitable. And that’s a very different decision making model than what we currently have in our system. If we understand that our system and I, when I say our system, it’s like corporations and public policy and all the systems we sit in, are inequitable by default. What we need to focus on is making them equitable by design. So that the natural decision is equity. You don’t have to choose to be equitable, you have to choose to be inequitable. And I’ll give you an example in the public policy world as well. If we choose that, then we will catapult ourselves toward equity. There’s no question that we can achieve equity in our lifetime. We see it across the companies that we work with, on average, our companies that we work with improve equity by 67% in the first three months on the platform. 

There is an absolute way we can do that. And from the public policy perspective, if we’re talking about the United States, what we should be doing is gender mainstreaming, which is actually essentially applying the gender lens to every single public policy proposal before it’s passed to make any changes to ensure it doesn’t adversely impact either men women or nonbinary. So it’s not just women, gender equity is not a synonym for women, it’s everybody. And our neighbor to the North Canada actually does this, it’s called GBA Gender Budgeting Analysis. It is part of their core public policy approach at the federal level. And what that does is ensure that equity is actually baked into every single public policy proposal. And interestingly enough, I had the opportunity to interview President Biden and Vice President Harris about this issue during the 2019 Democratic primaries. And this is something that President Biden in particular committed to, that every policy would go through the gender lens.

Mallory Erickson  25:27

Wow! When you are bringing a company on to Pipeline back to what you were saying before, in terms of not having to make the choice around equity, but having to choose inequity. When the system prompts someone around giving feedback to make their review more equitable. Do you find that folks, when they’re new to the system have a level of resistance to that feedback? Is there coaching that you all do to help people?

Katica Roy  26:01

Manage change management. There are other folks that do that, but we don’t do that. But sorry, I cut you off, though.

Mallory Erickson  26:07

Oh, no, I mean, you start to insert, I guess, which is that increase and how much more equitable they become within three months. That’s an amazing statistic. And so I’m just curious about something I feel like we see a lot in the nonprofit sector is a lot of resistance to feedback. And some of that goes to what I was saying before around the identity component that it sometimes entails where people feel like their identity as a good person, or a person committed to equity, when they get feedback like that there can be resistance there. It sounds like with your system, folks are really excited about the adoption of that feedback. And they’re implementing change really quickly. And so I’m just curious a little bit about how it does that?

Katica Roy  26:54

Yeah. I’ll answer your question in a minute. But it’s being committed to intersectional gender equity, and being unwilling to address it at its core in the decisions that we’re making is a bit like saying, I’m committed to exercise, but I never actually exercise. Yes, I agree that exercise is good for you but I don’t actually do it like that. Okay, then are you committed? Because commitment equals action. It is not a belief. It is not what you think, it is what you do. That is commitment is action. The companies that we work with, fundamentally have a belief around equity, that inequity exists in our systems. That’s the first step, right? They’ve admitted that inequity exists in our systems. And we are committed that if we find it, we will fix it. And that is really important in setting the like, this is not about calling you out as a bad manager, any of those things, it’s about ensuring that with every people decision, we’re actually moving toward equity. The average fortune 500 company has 60,000 employees. And we’ve found through our implementations that they make three key decisions each year, which is performance, potential and pay. So that’s 180,000 opportunities for companies to move toward equity. One of the things and people may or may not have seen this, but on the day that President Biden was inaugurated, he was welcoming in the new staff, and it was televised. And one of the things that he said, which was really a commitment to equity, was that if I hear of you do basically degrading someone or putting them down, or discriminating against them, etc, I will fire you. That there is no tolerance for that in our organization. 

Now, I’m not saying that that’s what people use Pipeline for, I’m just saying the reason why I’m using that example, is because it came from the top. He said, this is our commitment, that this is the action that I am taking for that commitment. So when those 96% of CEO’s say we are committed to equity, that means the action is through our people decisions that we’re making, internal hiring, pay, performance, potential and promotion, we will ensure that all of those are actually equitable, that what I say will show up in your employee experience and if it doesn’t, we will fix it. Because by definition, if you are experiencing inequity, you don’t have the power because you would not do that to yourself. So I talked about my story, fight to be paid really twice but one of those the first time I thought to be paid equitably twice, quickly, I was on maternity leave with my daughter, and my boss was optimized, which is a fancy word for fired, and I came back. And a day after I came back, I was asked to take on another team, I had one team already. So that meant I had two teams I was managing. And then two weeks later, a third team, which is a great opportunity for a breadwinner mom a family of four, but I wasn’t offered any pay change. 

My male colleague was one pay grade higher than I was, and he received additional compensation for that new team. I spent a couple of months going back and forth with my new boss and or my new manager and HR working on how you’re gonna make me whole on my compensation. I was a litigation paralegal. That was my first job out of college. So I did, because it was like, there’s gotta be something that makes this illegal. So I did my research in family Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I called HR and said, This is a Lilly Ledbetter issue. Every time you pay me the statute of limitations starts over. What do you want to do about it? And to their credit, they increase my pay, increase my level and give me back pay. But I really was concerned that if I said something, I would experience retaliation. And we know that that’s true for women in particular, who speak up about inequitable practices. So it’s really shifting the responsibility from the people who are experiencing  inequity to the folks that actually have the power and are making the decisions. And that’s everywhere, from frontline managers all the way up to the CEO. 

Mallory Erickson  31:35

Interesting, it’s making me wonder if in the nonprofit sector, I think one of the things that I completely agree with what you said in terms of what we say we’re committed to, and the way that that often conflicts with the actions that we take. And I think in the nonprofit sector, especially when the organization itself is built around an issue of equity, or even gender equity, to then look inside the organization and have to come to terms with the fact that you are still a part of the structure that is inherently inequitable. It’s just something that needs to start happening inside the sector in a much bigger way. And I think, in general, the sector hasn’t been doing that, because on the programme side of things, it is addressing these issues. And so it hasn’t looked at itself as a part of the system and a part of the structure that is also perpetuating the problem. 

Katica Roy  32:31

In addition to that, the percentage of nonprofit dollars that actually go toward women and supporting women is I don’t know what the specific but I know it’s very small.

Mallory Erickson  32:42

Yeah, so I know, we don’t have a ton of time left. But I would love for you to just share a little bit about your fundraising journey and some of your learnings through that. 

And if you have any advice for our listeners who are not necessarily female founders in the venture space, but are doing very similar work in fundraising around their organizations and causes. I just love to learn a little bit more about that. 

Katica Roy  33:08

Sure. I am a solo female founder, I won’t say how much money I’ve raised. Because we don’t release that amount. We don’t release those numbers. I knew that bias existed in fundraising, particularly venture fundraising. However, I thought, I’ve been in the corporate world for 23 years, I’m an executive, I have an MBA, I will for sure face bias, but probably can less so than other female founders and that I was maybe a little bit more well equipped to deal with it. But that was not my experience. My experiences in VC funding. So I’m sure there’s parallels to fundraising for nonprofits, but that we hold women to a much higher standard in terms of what they need to accomplish in order to raise funding. I mean, the most recent example that we’ve seen is the funding that Adam Newman received for his startup. And this is after we work imploded. And so as a seed stage, getting through under 50 million in investment without any revenue, I mean, leaves a lot of female founders who have revenue and still experience, so the two biases that show up from a financial perspective that female founders face. One is that we raise less money, but the other is that we raise it at a lower valuation. 

And so what that means is that we’re giving away a larger percentage of our companies. And there are two issues with that. One is control over your company, and how much do you control the board and who controls the board because the board hires and fires the CEO, and how much you’re voting when you’ve got to equity based company voting matters. And then the second piece of that is when you have a liquidity event, right? So you either are acquired, or you go public. And if female founders retain less of their companies, they then have less money at that liquidity event. And what’s really interesting about that, there was a Fortune article, I believe it was Fortune that talked about billionaire female founders, like there’s more female. But if you look at the amount of money that the female billionaire founders are worth, compared to the male billionaire founders, it’s like a fraction. That’s the kind of thing that we’re talking about. In terms of what female founders have experienced and I certainly have experienced this, female founders and male founders generally are asked different questions. So female founders are asked questions, what are called prevention questions. So how do you prevent the downside? So if you’re entering into a crowded market, if there’s an economic downturn, et cetera. 

So male founders are asked promotion questions, how big could this get? How much revenue could you have? And what happens is that the more prevention questions that female founders are asked, the less money they raise. And so the trick as much as I don’t like giving female founders advice, one is like, just know the system is totally biased. But the second is that the trick for female founders until quite frankly, the government or someone does something to fix this problem, to fix the funding gap is to turn prevention questions into promotion answers. And I’ve written about it, the research was first released in Harvard Business Review. So you can certainly look that up. But that’s a really important thing to understand. Okay, that’s a prevention question, I’m going to flip that into a promotion answer. 

So that when you’re actually going into pitching, and you’re doing follow ups, and all of that, that you realize that that is true, I think the other thing that I would just say, in my experience, I often feel and I certainly have experienced this. And this is not just to, this is not unique to female founders or female fundraising. But that in asking for money in this case, we’re asking for investment versus nonprofit, it’s mutually beneficial. I’m not like going to mom and dad asking for a loan, I’m showing you how you’ll make a return. It’s not a guarantee, it’s a risk, like any investment put in the stock market, that’s a risk too, to investing in my company, or in this case, you’ll get a tax write off, and you’ll be able to benefit these folks. So I think understanding that it is an equal relationship, and that you have as much power as they do is as important. Like that mental game is really, really important to psych yourself up for. And I will say that’s not unique to female founders, male founders as well. It’s just that female fundraisers experience it more often, because of that power dynamic and that gender dynamic. So standing in your own power is important. And that’s not a uniquely female thing. It’s just that people don’t expect us to. I would also say, when you do that, expect pushback, not everyone’s going to be happy that you’re a female fundraiser, or a female founder who owns her power, and doesn’t need to be mentored or patted on the head and told that it’s all good, that you will get pushed back. And that’s okay. That just means you’re doing something right. 

Mallory Erickson  39:05

I love that you said all that we have a lot of resources on the show around how to become a more embodied and embolden fundraiser, a lot of which have to do with the mental game necessary to show up in those meetings and recognizing all the things about you that you have as a founder and a fundraiser and where that mutual benefit lives. It’s not necessarily on financial lines, but it can live on impact lines or the change you want to see in your local community. So I really love that you said that, and I’m so grateful for this conversation and for the work that you’re doing. I’ll make sure that there are links below so folks can connect with you, follow you, learn more about Pipeline. Is there anything else you want to make sure you leave folks with today?

Katica Roy  39:50

The only other thing I would say in terms of female founders fundraising is we’re a better investment. So for instance, like we returned 63% better investment returns compared to male founders for dollars invested in female founders startups. So that’s a really important thing also to understand is that that’s the data, right? So also I think understanding that and we can share with you some of those articles that I’ve written.

Mallory Erickson  40:17

I would love that. I’ll put those all in the show notes as well, so folks can read the different writing that you mentioned. 

Katica Roy  40:26

Okay. Awesome. 

Mallory Erickson  40:26

Thank you so much.

Katica Roy  40:27

Yeah, of course. Thank you.

Mallory Erickson  40:35

All right. I learned a lot from this episode, and I am still processing some of what Katica shared. But here are the top things that I’m double clicking on today. Number one, diversity, equity and inclusion, as we’ve learned time and time again, offer not just justice driven opportunity, but economic opportunity as well. Number two, you’ve heard of gender and equity pay gaps, but there’s also a documented breadwinner Mom pay gap, less talked about impacting 40% of all US households with children under the age of 18. And closing that gap has massive implications for today, and years and years to come. 

Number three, believing in equity is well and good. But are you willing to receive the feedback and get honest about what’s really present systematically at your organization? Number four, if you want to get their consideration from a VC or other funder, learn how to turn prevention questions into promotion answers. I loved her advice around this. Number five, expect pushback, especially if you’re a woman, gender dynamics and biases are fully baked into the system, but you can stand firm in knowing that you’re doing the right thing. And the pushback is actually a good sign. 

Okay, there are so many more takeaways and tips inside this episode. So head on over to www.malloryerickson.com/podcast to grab the full show notes and resources now. You’ll also find more information there about Katica and grabbed Bloomerangs great resource about how to start a DEI policy conversation inside your organization. Thank you for spending this time with us today. If you enjoyed this episode, we would love it if you would give it a rating and review and share it with a friend. I’m so grateful for all of my listeners and the good hard work you’re doing to make our world a better place. 

And if you missed me between episodes, stop by and say hello on Instagram, @whatthefundraising_ 

Have a great day and I’ll see you next week.

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