If we don’t act fast, women are going to bear the brunt of the economic burden created by today’s COVID-19 crisis. In this Q&A, we invited Katica Roy, gender economist and CEO + Founder of Denver-based Pipeline. Pipeline is an award-winning SaaS company that leverages artificial intelligence to identify and drive economic gains through gender equity. It launched the first gender equity app on Salesforce’s AppExchange, and the Pipeline platform was named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2019 and Fast Company’s 2020 World’s Most Innovative Companies.
In our conversation with Katica, we discussed gender equity, gender budgeting in policy-making, and DI&E in the time of COVID-19 and how to make a difference from home. Here are our top takeaways from the conversation:
Advocate: Call your Representatives
We have to act swiftly to remind our elected officials about this important segment of the economy. If you want to take action today, follow these four easy steps:
1. Locate your leaders in Washington D.C. You have two Senators and one Representative at the national level.
2. Call your Senators and Representatives to request a meeting. You want to discuss the urgency of allocating more economic stimulus specifically for female-founded startups through forgivable SBA loans or grants.
Additional COVID-19 Policy Suggestions
• Table 2020 tax payments for those who owe less than $1 million.
• Reduce mortgage interest rates, increase refinancing, and prohibit evictions. 30% of solo mothers live in poverty.
• Forgive student loan payments for at least one year. Women hold 67% of student debt.
• Offer income- and family-based payments, or universal basic income. Women and children represent 70% of our nation’s poor.
• Expand paid sick leave and paid caregiver leave to all workers. Women provide more unpaid caregiving responsibilities than men.
• Use the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act to provide skills training to retrain workers for the digital economy. Millions of workers have already lost their jobs, and COVID-19 has accelerated the future of work.
3. Remind your representatives that applying the race and ethnicity lens can further guide them to allocate resources effectively. We already know that the pay gap widens for women of color, putting them in an even more vulnerable position during these adverse economic times. (White women lose $10,122 per year, black women lose $23,653 per year, and Latinas lose $28,036 per year as a result of the gender pay gap.)
4. Remind your elected officials how startups benefit the communities they represent by increasing employment opportunities, household income, and local tax income.
5. Call back weekly until you have a resolution on your requests.
For more details and data to support your conversation with your representative, visit pipelineequity.com
This article was written by Conscious Company Magazine’s team of writers and editors.