Denver high-tech company with operations nationwide names first female CEO


Cologix, a Denver-based interconnection and data center company with operations nationwide, has named its first-ever female CEO.

Laura Ortman, who has 25 years of experience in the high-tech industry, will start in her position Oct. 12. She will take the helm of a company in an industry where the gender gap is significant, especially in management positions,

In 2021, the Boston Consulting Group reported that women made up 47% of the U.S. workforce, but held less than one-third of the leadership positions in tech.

Ortman said she’s proud of the strides Cologix has made.

(Joshua Bobrove/Photo provided by Cologix) Denver-based Cologix has named its first-ever female CEO. Laura Ortman will start in her position Oct. 12.
(Joshua Bobrove/Photo provided by Cologix) Denver-based Cologix has named its first-ever female CEO. Laura Ortman will start in her position Oct. 12.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion is a big focus and it’s the center of our goals for social impact in our (environmental, social and governance) roadmap,” Ortman said. “We’re over 50% female representation on our leadership team, which is incredible.”

However, Ortman added the company has “a long road ahead” to increase the number of women across Cologix. “Right now we’re about 20%, so that’s been a big focus of ours.”

The company just launched its first employee resource group called the Cologix Women Connection Network, Ortman said.

“We’ve had women executives come in and be keynote speakers. We’ve done employee spotlights to not just create a safe environment for our women-identified employees,” Ortman said, “but to learn from other women executives and leaders that have been successful in the workforce, especially in this technology industry.”

Ortman said she was part of women’s networks at firms where she previously worked and is on boards of colleges and universities where she advocates for women pursuing tech jobs. She joined Cologix in August 2018 and is currently the president and chief revenue officer.

Support networks and mentorship are important for women in the high-tech industry, said Adriana Gascoigne, the founder and CEO of Girls in Tech. A recent report by the organization and the consulting firm McKinsey and Co. said women in high tech are less likely to be promoted early in their career and many are leaving the field.

Women are promoted at a slower rate than men across all industries, with 86 women promoted to manager for every 100 men at the same level, according to McKinsey. The gap is wider in technical fields, where only 52 women become managers for every 100 men.

“I’m always rooting for these amazing leaders that are given a chance to shine,” said Gascoigne, who worked for several years in high tech. “I’m sure (Ortman) will serve as a phenomenal role model for both women and men within the Denver community and also around the country.”

Ortman will succeed Bill Fathers, who will remain the company’s board chairman and a senior operating partner at Stonepeak, an investment firm and Cologix’s controlling shareholder.

Over the past four years, Cologix has seen double-digit growth and is exploring expanding current markets as well as entering new ones, Ortman said. The company is in 11 markets in the U.S. and Canada, has more than 40 data centers and supports more than 1,600 customers. Cologix has 375 employees, with 65 of those in Colorado.


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