When making the decision to earn an MBA, it’s important to think about your end goal. How will this program best fit your career aspirations? For me, the decision was twofold: I wanted an MBA to advance to the top of my career and build my professional network. After considering a few options, it was clear that the Executive MBA (EMBA) program at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business was the right choice.

I chose to pursue my EMBA Daniels because of the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as academic excellence. This particular program allowed me to connect with change makers in Denver, enhance my professional network and grow my business acumen. I also knew that an EMBA would help me reach the highest levels in corporations and I could, in turn, help other women do the same, which improves the economic pie for all.

According to Marcus Noland, director of studies at the Peterson Institute for international Economics (PIIE), “[t]he evidence on women in the C-suite is robust: no matter how we torture the data we get the same result: women in the C-suite are associated with higher profitability.” Yet, women make up just one third of MBA candidates and their lack of representation in the senior ranks of corporations, according to PIIE’s research, is staggering. This is happening at a time when women are the primary or sole breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households with children under the age of 18. We also know that closing the gender equity gap can add $12T in GDP to the global economy (and $40B in our home state of Colorado).

These data coupled with the fact that I am the daughter of a refugee and an immigrant inspired me to create Pipeline. Pipeline is a Denver-based startup whose proprietary SaaS platform uses AI to increase financial performance of companies through closing the gender equity gap. We assess, address and take action against the unconscious gender biases costing the U.S. alone $2 trillion each year. This issue is not just about good sense; this is about dollars.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my EMBA experience. My professors at Daniels helped me crystalize Pipeline. They introduced me to potential investors and customers, and have advocated for Pipeline post-graduation. The Daniels Executive MBA opened doors for me through increased knowledge, an expanded professional network, and an additional ecosystem of support to found Pipeline.