Diversity & Inclusion
Career development / DEI / Startups

Fem Equity is partnering with American University to benefit grad students

The Baltimore-built platform, which connects underrepresented professionals with resources and professional development courses, will be available to graduate and professional studies students for free for for three months.

Adeola Ajani. (Courtesy Fem Equity)

Starting next year, American University students have the chance to access a digital tool homegrown in nearby Baltimore.

Fem Equity is a digital platform and app with resources to close pay gaps for underrepresented professionals. Users can take part in courses on branding, job hunting strategies and knowing their worth, and enroll in a member portal. The company was founded in Baltimore (and named a 2023 RealLIST Startups honoree) and has since expanded into DC. While attending an MBA program at American University (AU), founder Adeola Ajani said, she was tapped for AU’s incubator, which turned into a new partnership with the Veloric Center for Entrepreneurship at the Kogod School of Business.

Starting Jan. 2, Fem Equity is opening its platform up to AU graduate and professional studies students at no cost. AU will foot the cost for up to 1,000 students for up to three months.

As a student, Ajani told Technical.ly that while AU did offer several resources, there wasn’t a place for students to share that they’re enrolled in a professional development program and what skills they acquired that could help with career growth, promotion or a salary increase.

“[As a graduate student] I did see there was a gap when it was time to have the conversation as far as career-scaling, promotion, things like that,” Ajani said. “Because the majority of people who do an advanced-study degree, they’re trying to get promoted and/or trying to scale their salary in some way or form or fashion.”

This is Fem Equity’s first partnership, although Ajani said there are a few others currently pending. In the new year, she’s also planning to scale out the platform in employee resource groups and its annual Black Women Equal Pay Day conference, which will be hosted at AU.

“Fem Equity is creating an important platform for making pay equity a reality for marginalized groups,” Veloric Center Director Tommy White told Technical.ly in an email. “Their focus is impacting people’s lives every single day.”

This partnership is a pilot program for future connections and outreach in the region, per Ajani. Having the stamp of approval from such a prominent name in the region, she said, will be huge for scaling and growing in the DMV region and beyond.

“We feel like it’s the catalyst and will let people see Fem Equity in a bigger, more innovative light to know that we’re not just a small startup, but we’re really here to scale in the region and nationally,” Ajani said.

Companies: Fem Equity / American University

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