BetterUp Coaching

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BetterUp Coaching

While there is no publicly available information on the demographic details of 'high potential' employees exposed to coaching services by providers like BetterUP, previous studies show that executive positions are mostly held by white males throughout the US. Findings reveal that the majority of 'high potential' employees considered for coaching services in organizations fall between age 36 and 50.


To find out the requested information, we began by looking into company websites, as mentioned in the research criteria, such as Betterup, Pluma, Everwise, and DDI. The articles, client case studies, testimonials, and blog posts published on these websites provided information on the type of companies these companies served as clients, type of services/benefits they offered, etc. However, none of these companies published any comprehensive reports on the kind of demographics they serve.
As an alternative approach, we looked into articles published by media outlets such as Forbes, Fortune, WSJ, Business Insider, etc. focusing on reports of any bias in terms of facilitating any specific demography while providing coaching facilities, etc. However, these sources contained information on the white-male dominance in the entire U.S. and white-collar workforce, without giving any further detail on whether there was an inclination towards specific demography held for allocation of coaching programs as well.
We also looked for workforce opportunity case studies focused on demographics on sites such as HBR Brookings and academic sites such as Academia, Researchgate, etc. However, none of these sources had the required details for the coaching of high potential candidates.
We checked for similar data in specialized websites such as SHIFT e-Learning, Training Magazine, and articles published on platforms like LinkedIn. However, these sources provided information such as the percentage of US enterprise workers that needed training/coaching without divulging any further details on demographics.
REASON FOR UNAVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION: It was evident that neither provider companies nor clients were ready to divulge confidential demographic information such as age, gender, or the ethnicity of either their clients or their employees whom they were allocating such coaching. Making this data public would have disclosed the favor in coaching allocations, if any. Given this, we attempted the following triangulation:
ALTERNATE DATASET: We decided to find out executives who turned up for such coaching. From Pluma's website, we found 14 such profiles out of which 9 were male, and 5 were female. Of these 14, 6 exact matches for the profiles could be found on LinkedIn. We looked at the six profiles in detail. However, due to the limited number of samples, it was not clear whether companies favored any specific demographics or not.
DATABASES: We looked into all publications of these companies such as Pluma, Everwise, DDI, and BetterUP. We also looked into case studies and surveys done by PEW Research and similar surveys published in Forbes, Fortune, WSJ, Business Insider, etc. But due to the reasons mentioned above, specific data points on demographics were not available.
BROADENING THE CRITERIA: In expanding the scope to cover the entire US white-collar workforce and include even those who do not receive these trainings, we found that there was clear evidence of white males being the most dominating demographic. However, it did not precisely mean that this dominance applied to the coaching scenario.

In light of the limitations and challenges mentioned above, we could not find and present the requested information but included some insightful, useful findings presented below.


Companies which have had contracts with BetterUp for coaching include names like Castlight, Workday, Equinix, AirBnB, GenenTech, Lyft, Symantec and Trinet. According to a client-focused case study published on BetterUp’s site, Equinix contracted BetterUp to help female leaders continue to grow in the company.
Pluma, one of BetterUp’s competitors, published the names of 14 executives who received such training from their company. Out of these 14, 9 were male (Gavin R, Gaurav K, Dean P., Sean F., Khaled A, Constantine A, Mark R and Radomir M) and 5 were female (Whitney W, Syama R, Isabel S, Michelle N, and Katelyn V).
Therefore, in terms of percentage, male executives receiving coaching was 9 out of 14 or 64.28% and female executives receiving coaching were 5 out of 14 or 35.72%.
Out of the professionals mentioned above, some could be identified from LinkedIn as exact matches through their name, designation and company. Some profiles identified on LinkedIn are as follows:
1. GAVIN RODNEY (GAVIN R) Head of Vendor & Affiliate Management at S&P Global Ratings Country: London, United Kingdom Gender: Male Age: Approximately 46 Years (Completed B.Com in 1995; Approx YOB: 1974/ Assuming bachelors degree is attained at age 22)

2. GAURAV KUKAL (GAURAV K) Senior Manager Search Engineering at Adobe Country: Santa Clara, California (although did graduation from India, can be considered Asian in ethnicity) Gender: Male Age: Approximately 40 Years (Completed B. Tech in 2001 (4years course); Approx YOB: 1979/ Assuming a bachelors in engineering degree is attained at age 22).
3. KHALED ABDEL-KADER (KHALED A) Senior Economist at International Monetary Fund Country: Washington D.C. Metro Area
Gender: Male Age: Can't be calculated in the absence of education details.

4. CONSTANTINE ANASTASAKIS (CONSTANTINE A) Senior Director of Business Development at Fiverr Country: Greater New York City Area Gender: Male
Age: Approximately 35 Years (Completed 4 years BA degree in 2006; Approx. YOB: 1984/ Assuming a bachelors degree is attained at age 22)
Director, Financial Planning and Analysis at The Boston Beer Company
Country: Greater Boston Area
Gender: Female
Age: Approximately 43 Years (Completed 4 years BS degree in 1998; Approx. YOB: 1976/ Assuming a bachelors degree is attained at age 22)
Principal Scientist at Adobe
Country: San Francisco Bay Area, U.S.
Gender: Male
Age: Approximately 50 Years (Completed 3 years BSc degree in 1991; Approx. YOB: 1970/ Assuming a bachelors degree is attained at age 22)
On analysis of the above profiles, it can be inferred that the age group of those who have received such coaching ranges between 36 and 50.


Since the trainings, as mentioned in the research criteria, are provided to high potential candidates, it can be reasonably assumed that those who receive such kind of trainings subsequently move to the next stage of senior leadership. The following data reflects the extent of demographic diversity in the U.S. corporate scene:
  • Out of 5089 executives and senior officials in 16 of Fortune 500 companies, 80% were found to be men, and 72% of those men were white.
  • Out of 16 Fortune 500 companies' 800,000 people; 73% of the senior executives, including men and women, were found to be white.
  • According to Ascend Foundation’s analysis, it was found that white men (with an EPI of 1.81) were by far the most-represented group in management, with an executive parity ratio of 1.0.
  • Although not related to the corporate workplace, when it comes to online coaching for students, online course instructors are 94% more likely to respond to discussion forum comments made by students with names connoting that they were white and male.
From this overwhelmingly dominating representation of white males in the US corporate scene, it can be reasonably assumed that white males get more access to high-level coaching.

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  • "One area that Equinix has focused on is helping female leaders continue to grow in the company. “We knew from our employee engagement and workforce data that we had an opportunity to further support women leaders across the company,” said Michelle. “Through this program, we wanted to say—you matter to our business, we want you to be successful, and we want to give you an opportunity to work with a coach to take your skills and capabilities forward"
  • "Many women are reluctant to engage with it, or even see it as distasteful. Some people have called women and racial minorities “politically naïve” for avoiding politics, and argued that training and mentoring initiatives are necessary to help women see the value in office politics and learn to play the game."
  • "Even if only 16 Fortune 500 companies share detailed demographic information about their employees, it’s important to point out that the data that is available represents the race, gender and job category of more than 800,000 people – everyone from the CEO through service staff."
  • "Using those 16 companies as a representative sample for the entire Fortune 500 cohort would result in a pretty wide margin of error: 24.3%. So, it’s important to point out that the workforce at 16 companies that share data isn’t a perfect predictor of the other 484. However, it seems likely that women at Fortune 500 companies see better representation in senior official roles than they do among CEOs."
  • "Seventy-three percent of the senior executives, men and women, are white. The rest are 21% Asian, 3% Latino/a, 2% black, 0.6% two or more races, 0.2% Native American and 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander."
  • "Online course instructors are 94 percent more likely to respond to discussion forum comments made by students with names connoting that they are white and male compared to other race-gender groups, according to research published in March."
  • "The overall instructor response rate was 7 percent, but comments made by researchers' white male students received a 12 percent response rate."
  • "The Ascend Foundation’s analysis shows that white men (with an EPI of 1.81) are by far the most-represented group in management; executive parity is a ratio of 1.0. Following them are Hispanic men (1.07), white women (0.65), black men (0.63), Asian men (0.56), Hispanic women (0.49), black women (0.30), and Asian women (0.24). "