10 Startups Advancing Gender Equality

Woman holding gender signs.

Gender equality is an ongoing social, economic, and human rights issue. We all want to live in a world where, regardless of the gender with which you identify, you have the same opportunities afforded to you. We found several startups that are working to advance gender equality across the globe. From garment manufacturing upskilling to high-tech breast pumps, these are 10 startups advancing gender equality for you to keep an eye on. 

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Companies Advancing Gender Equality

Every year, new startups pull to the forefront of their industry through exciting innovation and industry-disrupting business models. We’ve rounded up several startup companies advancing gender equality that startup-lovers, investors, and aspiring entrepreneurs should follow. 

Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.

1. Equilo

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Funding: Grant, $224,800

Equilo describes itself as a disruptive social inclusion and gender equality analysis application. This gender equality startup is the brainchild of a gender specialist who found that the manual method of conducting Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) analyses simply did not produce real-time results. Consequently, Equilo now provides a range of free, open-source GESI analysis tools and advanced GESI analytics products to expedite this valuable process.

2. Pipeline Equity

Location: Denver, Colorado
Funding: Series Unknown, $415,000

Pipeline Equity is a software startup that aims to increase companies' financial performance by closing the gender equity gap. The platform directly integrates with a cloud-based human capital management system to analyze data according to a range of triggered events and recommend solutions and actions that support better organizational financial performance, as well as growth for the individual.

3. Shimmy Technologies

Location: Brooklyn, New York
Funding: Undisclosed, $10,000

Shimmy Technologies, also known as Shimmy UpSkill, is a gender equality startup focusing on the garment manufacturing industry. The startup hopes to provide the predominantly-female garment manufacturing workforce with viable options as the industry shifts toward greater automation and job opportunities are reduced. Shimmy's learning software uses gaming mechanics and AI to teach workers 3D modeling and digital pattern making. This for-profit company currently partners with government departments, foundations, nonprofits, apparel companies, and tech companies and hopes to raise an additional $14 million in funding to carry out future projects. 

4. Neopenda

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Funding: Series Unknown, $4 Million

Neopenda is a tech startup with a focus on gender equality through healthcare. The company aims to innovate needs-based medical technologies for use in high-growth emerging markets. One such product is an affordable neonatal monitoring device for use by expectant mothers in areas where pregnancy care is not easily accessible. This service aims to reduce the nearly 3 million infant deaths that occur annually in low-resource areas, predominantly due to a lack of access to monitoring services.

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5. Natural Cycles

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Funding: Series Unknown, $44.5 Million

Natural Cycles is a startup seeking to advance gender equality by putting control of pregnancy prevention and planning back in the hands of women. The company's primary product is a contraceptive app that has been FDA-approved to spearhead the development of digital contraception. By measuring body temperature each morning and combining this with collected cycle data through the Natural Cycles app, women can track their fertility cycles easily and prevent pregnancy in a hormone-free way.

6. She's A Crowd

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Funding: Seed, Amount Undisclosed 

She's A Crowd was initially funded by the Australian gender equality startup accelerator She Starts. The platform aims to collect stories from women around the world about their experiences with gender-based domestic violence with the goal of using this data to make women safer. The app also puts women in touch with resources to help them when they are in danger or to empower them to make better choices. 

7. Satya MicroCapital

Location: New Delhi, India
Funding: $104 Million

Satya MicroCapital is an Indian startup focused on helping women in rural areas to access microlending by allowing them to share liability with others. The company saw the particular need for this service in 2020 when self-employed Indian women struggled significantly under pandemic-induced economic instability. The company claims to currently back women in 27,835 villages across India. 

8. Education Cannot Wait

Location: Newyork, United Kingdom
Funding: Private, €200 Million

Education Cannot Wait is a global fund startup aimed at closing the gap in educational opportunities for children and adults in low-income and war-torn countries. The organization acknowledges the significant ongoing problem with children not receiving adequate education in many areas of the world. In some cases, this is a social issue in which female children are not seen as needing formal education, and in other cases, unrest and war have delayed the delivery of educational services.

9. EnrichHER

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Funding: Seed, $1.7 Million

EnrichHER is an investment platform startup that seeks to stamp out gender equality in the business space by funding only female-led businesses. The startup doesn't just focus on handing over money, though; it also provides coaching and other business-related resources to its clients to help give them their best chance at success. 

10. Willow

Location: Mountain View, California
Funding: Series C, $144.3 Million

Willow describes itself as a female technology company. Their main product is an in-bra wearable breast pump which helps to overcome one of the biggest issues new mothers face when returning to work or other daily activities after delivering a baby. The pump itself is different from almost anything else on the market in that it is self-contained with no tubes or other dangling bits that often force new moms to find secluded places, away from prying eyes, to pump breast milk. 

Recommended: Check out our full list of the top startups to watch!